Last September, the NAC published a “National Standards Report,” which identifies 11 “best practices” – teaching and treatment methods known to be the most consistently effective for students with an ASD.
Most of them come primarily or exclusively from the field of ABA, Wilczynski says. The report, which took three and a half years to complete, involved 80 reviewers from all over the world evaluating 775 studies of treatment methods – some conducted as early as the 1950s. Forty experts developed a process to determine which methods were most effective and 40 others wrote up the results.
FACTS ABOUT AUTISM
• Signs of autism are typically evident by ages 2 or 3.
• Boys are four times more likely than girls to have an ASD.
• 9,976 Massachusetts students with an ASD were eligible for special education services in 2009 – up nearly 13 percent from the previous year.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Massachusetts Department of Education
Signs of an Autism Spectrum Disorder begin to show up by ages 2 or 3, and the earlier the treatment, the better the chances for success.
The national Centers for Disease Control and the Mayo Clinic list these signs to watch for in a young child:
1. doesn’t respond to his name by 12 months of age;
2. has delayed speech and language skills;
3. avoids eye contact;
4. has trouble understanding others’ feelings or difficulty expressing her Own;
5. repeats words and phrases over and over;
6. is obsessed with specific objects (such as the wheels of a toy truck, or a ceiling fan);
7. repeatedly flaps hands, rocks or spins his body;
8. becomes very upset with minor changes in routine;
9. resists cuddling and seems to want to play alone.