Combined approach may be better way to treat autism

Children with autism would likely receive better treatment if supporters of the two major teaching methods stopped bickering over theory and focused on a combined approach, a Michigan State University psychologist argues in a new paper.

For years, the behavioral and developmental camps have argued over which theory is more effective in teaching communication and other skills to preschool-aged children with autism. Basically, behaviorists believe learning occurs through reinforcement or reward while developmental advocates stress learning through important interactions with caregivers.

But while the theories differ, the actual methods the two camps ultimately use to teach children can be strikingly similar, especially when the treatment is naturalistic, or unstructured, said Brooke Ingersoll, MSU assistant professor of psychology.

via Combined approach may be better way to treat autism.

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