Children with autism deserve evidence-based intervention

Jennifer J Couper and Amanda J Sampson
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05281.x
Published online: 5 May 2003

The evidence for behavioural therapy

Autism is a developmental disorder characterised by impairment of communication and social interaction, and stereotyped, restricted patterns of behaviour. The young child with autism fails to develop normal language and imaginative play. Autism (or autistic disorder) affects one in 1000 children and is the core disorder of a wider spectrum of pervasive developmental disorders. Australian paediatricians identify it as one of the more difficult areas of practice1 — there is still no cohesive explanation for the child's developmental arrest, and a plethora of therapies exist.

  • 1 Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide, and University of Adelaide, SA.
  • 2 Royal Women's Hospital, Carlton, VIC.


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