Predictors of outcomes in autism early intervention: Why don't we know more?

Giacomo Vivanti, Margot Prior, Katrina Williams, Cheryl Dissanayake

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Response to early intervention programs in autism is variable. However, the factors associated with positive versus poor treatment outcomes remain unknown. Hence the issue of which intervention/s should be chosen for an individual child remains a common dilemma. We argue that lack of knowledge on "what works for whom and why" in autism reflects a number of issues in current approaches to outcomes research, and we provide recommendations to address these limitations. These include: a theory-driven selection of putative predictors; the inclusion of proximal measures that are directly relevant to the learning mechanisms demanded by the specific educational strategies; the consideration of family characteristics. Moreover, all data on associations between predictor and outcome variables should be reported in treatment studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
Issue numberJUN
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism
  • Early intervention
  • Individual differences
  • Outcomes
  • Predictors

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