The COVID-19 pandemic caused a temporary lockdown period in Italy, during which the delivery of in-person treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in public health services was discontinued. This occurrence represented a crucial challenge for both families and professionals. We assessed the short-term outcomes of a sample of 18 children who received an early intervention with the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), delivered at low intensity over one year in the pre-pandemic period, after six months of interruption of in-presence treatment due to lockdown restrictions. Children who received the ESDM treatment maintained their gains in sociocommunicative skills and did not exhibit any developmental regression. Additionally, there was evidence of a decrease in the restrictive and repetitive behavior (RRB) domain. The parents, who were already familiar with the principles of the ESDM, only received telehealth support from therapists that aimed to sustain the gains already achieved. We believe that it is always helpful to support parents in their daily lives by implementing interactional and play skills with their children to integrate and consolidate the results obtained in the individual interventions conducted by experienced therapists.

Short-Term Outcomes of an ESDM Intervention in Italian Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder following the COVID-19 Lockdown

Devescovi, Raffaella
;
Bresciani, Giulia;Carrozzi, Marco;Dissegna, Andrea;Terpini, Chiara;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a temporary lockdown period in Italy, during which the delivery of in-person treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in public health services was discontinued. This occurrence represented a crucial challenge for both families and professionals. We assessed the short-term outcomes of a sample of 18 children who received an early intervention with the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), delivered at low intensity over one year in the pre-pandemic period, after six months of interruption of in-presence treatment due to lockdown restrictions. Children who received the ESDM treatment maintained their gains in sociocommunicative skills and did not exhibit any developmental regression. Additionally, there was evidence of a decrease in the restrictive and repetitive behavior (RRB) domain. The parents, who were already familiar with the principles of the ESDM, only received telehealth support from therapists that aimed to sustain the gains already achieved. We believe that it is always helpful to support parents in their daily lives by implementing interactional and play skills with their children to integrate and consolidate the results obtained in the individual interventions conducted by experienced therapists.
2023
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https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9067/10/4/691
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3043078
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