‘In this lecture I will introduce you to an approach to the early intervention for children with autism. Because this is a condition arising early in development and enduring usually through the lifespan, this approach focuses on an early intervention focused on the family, to help parents provide the best conditions for the child to develop optimal social communication and adjustment. It works on the basis of our knowledge about how all children develop early social communication and social skills, and applies this to the challenges for families often posed by children with early autism.
I will describe our intervention for young infants and increased likelihood for developing the condition and then a related intervention for pre-schoolers after diagnosis – and show how both these interventions at different points of development having during impact on the child’s later development.
As autistic children move on in the school years they will often need additional interventions, but I argue that what I describe here gives family is the best start to help their child on the right track.’
Professor Jonathan Green is Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in the University of Manchester, UK, and Honorary Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.
Jonathan is a clinical scientist with a focus on early development and autism intervention. His work on parent-mediated early intervention has including leading RCTs of the iBASIS prodromal intervention for infants at risk for autism in the first year, and the post-diagnosis Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy (PACT) – which both showed reductions in symptom severity sustained for 2 and 6 years respectively post-treatment. PACT has been widely implemented internationally and successfully adapted for low-income contexts in South Asia using task-shifting (PASS). Jonathan is currently leading a trial to scale of PASS in Delhi and collaborating on a number of international trials of parent-mediated therapy for autism in infancy and early childhood. He also investigates adjunctive biological treatments within monogenic syndromic models of autism such as Neurofibromatosis 1, in basic science collaborations and experimental medicine trials. Clinically, he runs a specialist Social Development Clinic at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, undertaking assessment and treatment innovation with ASD and other impairments of social development.
Jonathan has been associate editor for Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, a member of the UK 2013 NICE guideline for autism treatments and on an MRC methodology research group into process and causal analysis in clinical trials. He is an UK National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator.
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