However, Adesman warned that because the findings were based on group data, the research may not show individual differences in benefit. The study did not look at whether different subsets of children may respond better to certain interventional approaches than did others, he noted.
"Not every child did well," Adesman said. "You can have a high-quality program but it doesn't mean your kid will do well."
For teachers and others who are strong believers in TEACCH or LEAP, the discouraging message may be that there doesn't seem be a single, best approach to teaching a child with autism spectrum disorder, he said.
Yet, for parents -- especially those who don't have access to one type of program or another -- the message is more positive, Adesman said: "The encouraging thing from their perspective is that many different approaches may be effective."
Learn more about autism from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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