This page provides links to information about some of the behavioural and developmental interventions commonly used to help individuals with autism. Those links include definitions, efficacy studies and reviews, other publications, and our evaluations of some of those interventions.
This page does not provide information about every type of behavioural or developmental intervention used by people with autism. There are dozens and dozens of different types of behavioural and developmental intervention and hundreds and hundreds of studies about them – so we are only scratching the surface of what is out there. If you know of any other significant types of intervention or any significant studies we should include here please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them as our limited resources allow.
The fact that an intervention is listed on this page does not necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence to support its use.
Our descriptions and evaluations do not constitute a recommendation about whether or not an intervention is suitable for a particular individual with autism. That is a decision for the individual with autism – and/or their carers, clinicians and others – to make.
Please see Autism Treatment Notes for more information about this and similar pages.
Behavioural and developmental interventions include a large and diverse range of educational strategies, programmes and techniques – including most forms of teaching and coaching.
Behavioural interventions are designed to encourage appropriate behaviour (such as getting dressed or talking to other people) and to discourage inappropriate behaviour (such as self harm or aggression towards others). Therapists, teachers and/or parents break down the desired behaviours into small, achievable tasks which are then taught in a very structured manner.
Developmental interventions are designed to target the core deficits within each child rather than his or her outward behaviours. Therapists and/or parents work with the child’s own interests or actions to slowly build engagement, interaction, communication, affection, and then specific skills such as logical reasoning, symbolic thinking etc.
In practice, many teachers and therapists use a mixture of behavioural and developmental elements. 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.
Because there are so many overlaps between the different behavioural and developmental interventions we have used the following categories, although there are many, many other ways to categorise these interventions. All Behavioural and Developmental Interventions | Specific Techniques | Specific Programmes
(We will add links to more techniques as and when our limited resources allow.)
(We will add links to more programmes as and when our limited resources allow.)
Last Updated : 19/03/2013 Back to Top