Therapy for infants showing early signs of autism
A major goal of the Early Years program is to improve outcomes for autistic children through earlier diagnosis. Research is already underway at the Autism CRC to identify infants showing early behavioural signs for autism from 12-months of age, and to facilitate the adoption of a behavioural surveillance protocol by community-based primary health-care providers.
This project is run as a parallel stream of research, developing and evaluating therapies that can then be implemented very early in life for infants identified as showing early signs of autism.
iBASIS-VIPP is a ‘prodromal’ intervention, a parent mediated therapy that aims to reduce the long-term disability associated with autism. A full-scale clinical trial of iBASIS-VIPP is being undertaken across dual sites, in Perth and Melbourne, with a sample of infants with the following considerations:
- Sample size is adequately powered to enable definitive conclusions to be drawn regarding the efficacy of this therapy
- Participating infants are determined to be at ‘high likelihood’ for autism due to showing early behavioural signs
Concurrent operations across two sites in Australia also facilitates future trialling of the effectiveness of iBASIS-VIPP – testing whether the expected benefits observed within this efficacy trial will remain when therapy is delivered within local community services – and subsequent translation into community practice.
- Kristelle Hudry, La Trobe University