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Predictors Of Treatment Outcome In Young Children With Autism

Robin L. Gabriels, Dina E. Hill, Rebecca A. Pierce, Sally J. Rogers, Beth Wehner

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This study examined predictors of developmental outcomes in 17 children diagnosed with autism or PDD-NOS, who received generic treatment over a mean period of 37 months. Pre-treatment evaluations occurred at a mean age of 31 months with follow-up evaluations at a mean age of 69 months. Significantly different developmental trajectories were observed among the participants at follow-up, separating the participants into two distinct groups (high and low outcome). However, groups did not differ significantly in treatment intensity or other outcome prediction measures. Pre-treatment developmental intelligence levels between the two groups approached significance. The results raise questions regarding the effect of treatment intensity and type, family stress factors, and intelligence ability in very early childhood on, outcome.