There are many different systems for categorising the different types of interventions used to help autistic people.
We have drawn on a range of existing systems but also tried to group interventions together in categories that make sense to us. Our categories are based around what the parent or practitioner actually does to, with, or for the autistic person or what the individual autistic person does for him/herself.
So, for example, we have grouped behavioural and developmental interventions together since these are essentially interventions based on encouraging the learning and development of the autistic individual (and sometimes the parent or carer). In the same way we have grouped diets, dietary supplements and hormones together under biomedical interventions since these all involve ingesting, injecting or inhaling one or more substances in order to rectify perceived biomedical problems.
There are many, many interventions which fall into more than one category. For example, the Children's Toddler School Program is a combined/multicomponent behavioural and developmental intervention run by the University of California, San Diego. It uses a blend of incidental teaching, pivotal response training, structured teaching (TEACCH), the picture exchange communication system, and DIR/Floortime.
Please see the Glossary of Terms on Autism for an explanation of the terms used in this section and elsewhere on this website.
The list of studies and reviews only includes items which have been published in English-speaking, peer-reviewed journals examining the efficacy of different types of intervention for autistic people.
The list of Our Evaluations of Autism Interventions, Treatments and Therapies will grow over time as resources allow. If you know of an intervention we should evaluate please let us know.
There are many thousands of autism intervention studies and we have only begun to scratch the surface of the available research - especially that concerning behavioural and developmental interventions.
Where no studies have been listed, this may mean that we have yet to identify any relevant studies, although it could also mean that no studies into this intervention have yet been published.