This table is a summary from the report Interventions for children on the autism spectrum: A synthesis of research evidence. The information in the table summarises the results of the review, including intervention effects and the quality of evidence on which they are based.

Reading the results of the table below

  • Each cell represents evidence for the intervention category or practice (horizontal rows) on various child and family outcomes (vertical columns).
  • The effect of these interventions on a range of child and family outcomes is summarised as positive, null, or mixed.
    • Positive means that all available evidence indicated a positive effect of the intervention on a given child or family outcome.
    • Inconsistent means that there was a mixture of positive and null effects reported for the intervention on a given child or family outcome.
    • Null means that all available evidence indicated a null effect of the intervention on a given child or family outcome.
  • H / M / L indicates the methodological quality of the evidence that contributed to the overall intervention effect for a given child or family outcome. The quality of evidence on which these findings are based is summarised as high, moderate, or low. These quality ratings are relative to those that met the minimum standards to be included in the report. Where there is more than one quality rating, it means more than one systematic review is represented.
    • H indicates evidence from a high quality review
    • M indicates evidence from a moderate quality review
    • L indicates evidence from a low quality review
  • Where a cell is empty, it means there was no evidence available from the systematic reviews included in the report.

Please refer to the full report for a detailed explanation of the process used to collect, summarise, and synthesise the evidence presented here. 

Summary of evidence table

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Evidence table for interventions

Core autism characteristics

Related skills and development

Education and participation

Family wellbeing

Interventions

No. of systematic reviews

Overall autistic characteristics

Social-communication

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours

Sensory behaviours

Communication

Expressive language

Receptive language

Cognition

Motor

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour

Play

Adaptive behaviour

General outcomes

School/ learning readiness

Academic skills

Quality of life

Community participation

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing

Caregiver satisfaction

Caregiver financial wellbeing

Child satisfaction

Behavioural

Systematic reviews of assorted behavioural practices*

3

Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
L
Positive
M
Positive
L
Positive
L

Discrete Trial Training

1

Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L

Early intensive behavioural intervention

4

Null
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
L
Null
M
Positive
L
Positive
L M
Positive
L
Null
M

Functional Communication training

2

Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Inconsistent
L
Positive
L

Language Training (production)

1

Positive
L

Language Training (production and understanding)

1

Inconsistent
L

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

2

Positive
L
Null
L
Inconsistent
L

Developmental

Systematic reviews of assorted developmental interventions*

2

Positive
M
Null
M
Positive
H

Developmental relationship-based treatment

1

Inconsistent
L

DIR/Floortime

2

Positive
M
Null
M
Null
M
Null
L

Naturalistic teaching strategies

2

Positive
L L
Positive
L L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L L
Positive
L

Naturalistic developmental behaviourial interventions

Systematic reviews of assorted NDBIs*

2

Null
M
Positive
M
Null
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Null
M
Positive
M
Null
M

Early Start Denver Model

2

Null
M
Null
M
Null
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Null
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
M

Pivotal Response Treatment

3

Inconsistent
L
Positive
L
Null
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Inconsistent
L
Positive
L
Inconsistent
L

Sensory-based interventions

Systematic reviews of assorted sensory-based interventions*

3

Null
M
Null
L L

Auditory integration Therapy

3

Null
M
Null
L L

Ayers Sensory Integration (ASI)

4

Inconsistent
L
Inconsistent
L L
Inconsistent
L M
Inconsistent
L L
Positive
L
Positive
L M
Positive
L
Null
L
Inconsistent
L L
Inconsistent
M
Positive
L
Positive
L

Environmental enrichment

1

Null
M
Positive
M

Music therapy

4

Positive
M
Positive
M
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Inconsistent
L L
Inconsistent
L
Positive
L
Positive
M
Positive
M

Sensory diet

1

Null
L

TEACCH

Systematic review of TEACCH*

1

Null
M

Structured teaching

1

Inconsistent
L

Technology-based interventions

Systematic reviews of assorted technology-based interventions*

5

Null
M
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Null
M
Positive
L
Positive
L
Inconsistent
L L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Inconsistent
M

Apps

2

Null
H
Null
H
Null
H
Null
H
Positive
H
Positive
H

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

3

Inconsistent
L M
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Inconsistent
L
Positive
L
Inconsistent
M

Computer-based instruction

2

Positive
L
Inconsistent
L

Facilitated communication

1

Null
L

Robots

1

Inconsistent
L

Sign instruction

1

Inconsistent
L

Animal-assisted interventions

Systematic reviews of assorted animal-assisted interventions*

2

Null
L L

Canine-assisted intervention

2

Inconsistent
L M

Equine assisted therapy

3

Null
L
Positive
L
Null
L
Null
L
Inconsistent
L
Inconsistent
L
Null
L
Inconsistent
L M
Inconsistent
L
Inconsistent
L

Cognitive behaviour therapy

Systematic reviews of cognitive behavioural therapy

4

Inconsistent
M
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L L
Positive
L L
Positive
L L
Positive
L

Exposure package

1

Inconsistent
L

Other interventions

Imitation based training

1

Inconsistent
L

Multi-component package

1

Inconsistent
L

Reductive package

1

Inconsistent
L

Social behavioural learning strategy

1

Null
L

Social cognition intervention

1

Null
L

Social communication intervention

1

Inconsistent
L

Social skills training

1

Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L
Positive
L

Social thinking intervention

1

Null
L

Theory of Mind training

1

Inconsistent
L

Behavioural

Systematic reviews of assorted behavioural practices*

No. of systematic reviews: 3

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Sensory behaviours: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Motor: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Play: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Academic skills: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Discrete Trial Training

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Play: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Academic skills: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Early intensive behavioural intervention

No. of systematic reviews: 4

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Expressive language: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Receptive language: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Motor: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review, 1 moderate quality review)

Academic skills: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Functional Communication training

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Play: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Language Training (production)

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Language Training (production and understanding)

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Developmental

Systematic reviews of assorted developmental interventions*

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 high quality review)

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Developmental relationship-based treatment

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

DIR/Floortime

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Naturalistic teaching strategies

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Motor: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Play: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: Positive effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Academic skills: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Naturalistic developmental behaviourial interventions

Systematic reviews of assorted NDBIs*

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Expressive language: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Receptive language: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Play: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Early Start Denver Model

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Social-communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

General outcomes: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Caregiver satisfaction: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Pivotal Response Treatment

No. of systematic reviews: 3

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Expressive language: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Sensory-based interventions

Systematic reviews of assorted sensory-based interventions*

No. of systematic reviews: 3

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Null effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Auditory integration Therapy

No. of systematic reviews: 3

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Null effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Ayers Sensory Integration (ASI)

No. of systematic reviews: 4

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Social-communication: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review, 1 moderate quality review)

Related skills and development

Communication: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Motor: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review, 1 moderate quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Play: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Environmental enrichment

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Music therapy

No. of systematic reviews: 4

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Play: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Sensory diet

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

TEACCH

Systematic review of TEACCH*

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Structured teaching

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Technology-based interventions

Systematic reviews of assorted technology-based interventions*

No. of systematic reviews: 5

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Motor: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Null effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Play: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Academic skills: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Apps

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 high quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 high quality review)

Expressive language: Null effect (Evidence from 1 high quality review)

Receptive language: Null effect (Evidence from 1 high quality review)

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 high quality review)

Motor: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 high quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

No. of systematic reviews: 3

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review, 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Play: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Computer-based instruction

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Facilitated communication

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Robots

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Sign instruction

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Animal-assisted interventions

Systematic reviews of assorted animal-assisted interventions*

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Null effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Canine-assisted intervention

No. of systematic reviews: 2

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review, 1 moderate quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Equine assisted therapy

No. of systematic reviews: 3

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Related skills and development

Communication: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Motor: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: Null effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review, 1 moderate quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Community participation: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Cognitive behaviour therapy

Systematic reviews of cognitive behavioural therapy

No. of systematic reviews: 4

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 moderate quality review)

Social-communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Related skills and development

Communication: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: Positive effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

General outcomes: No evidence available

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: Positive effect (Evidence from 2 low quality reviews)

Academic skills: Positive effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Exposure package

No. of systematic reviews: 1

Core autism characteristics

Overall autistic characteristics: No evidence available

Social-communication: No evidence available

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours: No evidence available

Sensory behaviours: No evidence available

Related skills and development

Communication: No evidence available

Expressive language: No evidence available

Receptive language: No evidence available

Cognition: No evidence available

Motor: No evidence available

Social-emotional/ challenging behaviour: No evidence available

Play: No evidence available

Adaptive behaviour: No evidence available

General outcomes: Inconsistent effect (Evidence from 1 low quality review)

Education and participation

School/ learning readiness: No evidence available

Academic skills: No evidence available

Quality of life: No evidence available

Community participation: No evidence available

Family wellbeing

Caregiver communication and interaction strategies: No evidence available

Caregiver social emotional wellbeing: No evidence available

Caregiver satisfaction: No evidence available

Caregiver financial wellbeing: No evidence available

Child satisfaction: No evidence available

Combined practices for each category

Behavioural

Behavioral Parent Training; Behavioural early intervention programmes; Discrete Trial Training with Motor Vocal Imitation Assessment; Early Intensive Behavioral Treatment; Functional Behavior Skills Training Home-based behavioral treatment; Home-based Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI); Intensive ABA; Intensive Early Intervention; Low Intensity Behavioral Treatment; Managing Repetitive Behaviors; Peer-Mediated Intervention; Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS); Rapid Motor Imitation Antecedent; Regular Intensive Learning for Young Children with Autism; Schedules, Tools, and Activities for Transitions (STAT); Social Skills Group; Stepping Stones Triple P Positive Parenting Program; Strategies for Teaching Based on Autism Research (STAR).

Developmental

Child Talk; Developmental Individual-Difference Relationship-Based (DIR)/Floortime; Hanen More Than Words; Joint Attention Mediated Learning (JAML); Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative Treatment (MEHRIT)-DIR based; Parent-Mediated Communication Focused Treatment; Parent-mediated intervention for autism spectrum disorder in South Asia (PASS); Pediatric Autism and Communication Therapy (PACT); Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters (PLAY) project - DIR based; Scottish Early Intervention Program; Social Communication Intervention for Children with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder; Social communication, emotion regulation, transactional support (SCERTS); Video-feedback Intervention to Promote Positive Parenting adapted to autism (VIPP-AUTI).

Cognitive behaviour therapy

Building Confidence Family Cognitive behaviour therapy (FCBT); Cool Kids; Coping Cat CBT program; Facing your fears; Group Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT); Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome and Social-Communications Problems; Thinking about you, thinking about me.

Naturalistic developmental behavioural interventions

Advancing Social-Communication and Play (ASAP); Caregiver-based intervention program in community day-care centers; Denver Model; Early Social Interaction Project (ESI); Early Social Interaction Project (SCERTS); Early Start Denver Model (ESDM); Focus parent training program; Home-based Building Blocks Program; ImPACT Online; Interpersonal Synchrony; Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement, and Regulation (JASPER); Joint Engagement Intervention with Creative Movement Therapy; Joint Engagement Intervention; Learning Experiences Alternative Program (LEAP); Parent-Early Start Denver Model (P-ESDM); Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT); Reciprocal Imitation Training (RIT); Social ABCs.

Sensory-based

Alternative seating; Blanket or “body sock”; Brushing with a bristle or a feather; Chewing on a rubber tube; Developmental Speech and Language Training through Music; Family-Centered Music Therapy; Joint compression or stretching; Jumping or bouncing; Music Therapy; Playing with a water and sand sensory table; Playing with specially textured toys; Qigong (QST) Massage Treatment; Rhythm Intervention Sensorimotor Enrichment; Sensory Enrichment; Swinging or rocking stimulation; Thai Traditional Massage; Tomatis Sound Therapy; Weighted vests.

Technology-based

ABRACADABRA; Apps; Computer-based interventions; FaceSay; Gaming Open Library for Intervention in Autism at Home (GOLIAH); Gaze-contingent attention training; Robot-based interventions; Serious games; Social Skills Training using a robotic behavioral intervention system; The Transporters animated series; Therapy Outcomes By You (TOBY) App; Transporters DVD; Transporters Program for Children with Autism; Videoconferencing; Virtual environment with playable games; Web-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) intervention.

Animal-assisted

Not specified

TEACCH

Not specified