Making a Difference: Early Interventions for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Jennifer Evans, Frances Castle, Shanee Barraclough, Glenys Jones

01 June 2001

There is a consensus of opinion that early intervention in the educational careers of children with special educational needs helps alleviate later difficulties. This is particularly the case for children identified as having an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and there is also growing awareness and agreement that these children need specialist interventions and access to expert support. Most local education authorities have an eclectic approach to provision, with a combination of generic provision and discrete methods and approaches, each of which has its distinct characteristics.

The NFER, under the educational research programme of the Local Government Association, undertook a research project to examine the implementation, operation and perceived impact of the range of interventions offered to children with autistic spectrum disorders up to the age of seven (the end of key stage 1).