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Research Article  |   July 2008
Evidence-Based Review of Interventions for Autism Used in or of Relevance to Occupational Therapy
Author Affiliations
  • Jane Case-Smith, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor and Chair, Division of Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210; jane.case-smith@osumc.edu
  • Marian Arbesman, PhD, OTR, is President, ArbesIdeas, Inc., and consultant, AOTA Evidence-Based Literature Review Project, Williamsville, NY
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Evidence-Based Practice / Education of OTs and OTAs / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   July 2008
Evidence-Based Review of Interventions for Autism Used in or of Relevance to Occupational Therapy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2008, Vol. 62, 416-429. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.4.416
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2008, Vol. 62, 416-429. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.4.416
Abstract

Occupational therapy practitioners are among the professionals who provide services to children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), embracing both leadership and supportive roles in service delivery. The study's primary aims were as follows: (1) to identify, evaluate, and synthesize the research literature on interventions for ASD of relevance to occupational therapy and (2) to interpret and apply the research literature to occupational therapy. A total of 49 articles met the authors’ criteria and were included in the review. Six categories of research topics were identified, the first 3 of which are most closely related to occupational therapy: (1) sensory integration and sensory-based interventions; (2) relationship-based, interactive interventions; (3) developmental skill-based programs; (4) social cognitive skill training; (5) parent-directed or parent-mediated approaches; and (6) intensive behavioral intervention. Under each category, themes supported by research evidence and applicable to occupational therapy were defined. The findings have implications for intervention methods, communication regarding efficacious practices to professionals and consumers, and future occupational therapy research.