Kelly Tanner, Brittany N. Hand, Gjyn O’Toole, Alison E. Lane; Effectiveness of Interventions to Improve Social Participation, Play, Leisure, and Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors in People With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(5):6905180010p1-6905180010p12. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.017806.
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© 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly experience difficulties with social participation, play, and leisure along with restricted and repetitive behaviors that can interfere with occupational performance. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate current evidence for interventions within the occupational therapy scope of practice that address these difficulties. Strong evidence was found that social skills groups, the Picture Exchange Communication System, joint attention interventions, and parent-mediated strategies can improve social participation. The findings were less conclusive for interventions to improve play and leisure performance and to decrease restricted and repetitive behaviors, but several strategies showed promise with moderately strong supporting evidence. Occupational therapists should be guided by evidence when considering interventions to improve social participation, play, leisure, and restricted and repetitive behaviors in people with ASD. Additional research using more robust scientific methods is needed for many of the currently available strategies.
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