Therapies and Interventions: ABA is on Top

Among all the parents surveyed, ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) stands out as the only therapy that a majority of respondents say has helped their child make “Excellent” or “Good” progress.   All other therapies show similar ratings of less than half saying “Excellent” or “Good.”   I was surprised at how similarly all the other therapies and interventions were rated, with only academic tutoring falling below the 40% mark.

(Background on this research project can be found here.)

excellentgoodprogress7point

When asked to rank therapies/interventions, the top 5 interventions overall are Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, ABA, Social Skills groups/therapy, and Medications to treat behaviors, anxiety, or ADHD.   ABA has the highest percentage of people who list this in their top 5 who ranked it as the #1 intervention.

ranking-of-therapies_interventions

Less than 30 parents in the survey have used the therapies and interventions shown on the next chart, so these results are less reliable with these smaller sample sizes. It is interesting that RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) and Neurofeedback receive high ratings, but we need to be cautious because of the small number of parents doing the evaluating. (Personal note: I have done RDI with my 11 year-old son and have found it to be very helpful with things like co-regulation of behavior, social referencing, and non-verbal communication.   One major benefit is that we don’t any problems now with him wandering or bolting too far away from us when in public.)

excellentgoodsmall_7point

The survey is still open!  Would like to have more responses in order to look at the information by diagnosis, time since diagnosis, age of child, etc.  So if you haven’t completed the survey please do so at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/autismparentdata1

Next blog post:  Progress of children with autism over time

Last blog post:  And the results are in… (Summary of who took the survey)

 

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And the survey results are in…

These are just preliminary results as I really hope to get more responses to the survey.   But here is where the survey stands in terms of who took the survey and how they describe their children with autism (please click here for some background on this research project).  It looks like these initial results are in line with other research I’ve seen.

  • Most of the survey respondents have only one child with autism – 13% have 2 or more children on the spectrum:

number-of-children-with-autism

  • The ages of the children with autism represented in this survey are evenly spread over 3 age groups: 34% are age under 5, 31% are age 6-11, and 35% are age 12 or older.

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  • About half of the respondents say that their son or daughter was originally diagnosed with Autism or Classic Autism.   The other half have other diagnoses like High-functioning autism, PDD-NOS, or Asperger’s.

original-autism-diagnosis

  • Many of the parents surveyed say that their child was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 or 3.
  • Parents of kids with Autism/Classic Autism are more likely to be diagnosed at younger ages.

age-at-diagnosis

age-at-diagnosis2

  • Respondents are more likely to say that their children with autism are boys.
  • The survey respondents are also more likely to live in the US. 13% live in a country outside the US.

gender

country

The survey is still open!  Would like to have more responses in order to look at the information by diagnosis, time since diagnosis, age of child, etc.  So if you haven’t completed the survey please do so at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/autismparentdata1

Next blog post:  Evaluation of Autism therapies and interventions

Survey Details

The first survey can be found here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/autismparentdata1

  • Survey currently has 179+ respondents.
  • Respondents report to be parents of children with autism (person with autism can be any age)
  • Caution should be taken when trying to apply survey results to the general population.   Survey respondents are self-selected; they were recruited via a survey link provided on a variety of autism-related groups on the Internet.