An intervention is any kind of activity such as a treatment, a therapy or the provision of a service that is designed to improve the quality of life for people with autism
Some interventions are designed to address the core symptoms of autism such as poor communication and social skills – while others are designed to address other issues such as anxiety and self injurious behaviour.
Unfortunately some interventions are expensive, time consuming and potentially hazardous. And there is currently very little scientific research to support the use of some interventions despite sometimes extravagant and misleading claims about their effectiveness.
What the research does show is that, while there is no cure for autism, some interventions do appear to help at least some individuals with autism.
However there is no one-size fits all solution. Each person with autism is a unique individual, with unique needs and abilities. The most effective interventions are tailored to meet the unique characteristics of each individual.
The charity Research Autism was set up to undertake research into autism interventions . It was also set up to provide (via this website) an objective evaluation of the scientific evidence behind the most commonly used interventions.
Here you can find information about a wide range of interventions, including what they are, what they are supposed to achieve and whether there is any supporting scientific evidence behind them.
Please note that we do not wish to prove or disprove a given intervention. Our aim is to report on the scientific evidence behind each intervention, irrespective of whether that evidence is positive, negative or mixed. Nor do we wish to promote or to denigrate any particular group of therapies. So we look equally carefully at behavioural, developmental, pharmacological, biomedical, motor-sensory and other types of interventions.
Please also note that 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.
Last Updated : 01/03/2013 Back to Top