Project AIM: Autism Intervention Meta-analysis for studies of young children

studiesIn 2011, a review of early interventions for children on the autism spectrum published in the journal Pediatrics indicated that only 2 high quality group design studies had been published on this topic. The authors of the review concluded that our knowledge about the effectiveness of early intervention for children on the autism spectrum was limited. The past five years has seen a tidal wave of studies published in this area. The Brain and Language Lab, in concert with colleagues from the ACER Lab and the BAND Lab, has quantitatively synthesized the results of 150 reports of early intervention studies, in order to better understand the overall effect of intervention, how it varies by approach, and the extent to which it improves generalizable, developmentally important outcomes. The first results of this work are published in the journal Psychological Bulletin. For this work, Micheal Sandbank was awarded the Young Investigator Award by the International Society of Autism Research (INSAR). A copy of the full paper is available here. The full data set collected as part of Project AIM is available by request. We are currently conducting additional research with this data set to determine how children differentially benefit from intervention depending on their individual developmental profiles and various aspects of the intervention (e.g., the amount provided, the implementer of the intervention).

Project AIM Publications

Sandbank, M., Bottema-Beutel, K., Crowley, S., Cassidy, M., Dunham, K., Feldman, J. I., Crank, J., Albarran, S. A., Raj, S., Mahbub, P., & Woynaroski, T. G. (2020). Project AIM: Autism intervention meta-analysis for studies of young children. Psychological Bulletin, 146(1), 1–29.

Sandbank, M., Bottema-Beutel, K., Crowley, S., Cassidy, M., Feldman, J. I., Canihuante, M., & Woynaroski, T. (2020). Intervention Effects on Language in Children With Autism: A Project AIM Meta-Analysis. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research63, 1537-1560.

Bottema‐Beutel, K., Crowley, S., Sandbank, M., & Woynaroski, T. G. (2021). Research Review: Conflicts of Interest (COIs) in autism early intervention research–a meta‐analysis of COI influences on intervention effects. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 62(1), 5-15.

Sandbank, M., Bottema-Beutel, K., & Woynaroski, T. (2020). Intervention Recommendations for Children With Autism in Light of a Changing Evidence Base. JAMA Pediatrics.

Bottema-Beutel, K., *Crowley, S., Sandbank, M., & Woynaroski, T. (in press). Adverse event reporting in autism intervention literature for young children. Autism.

Crank, J. E., Sandbank, M., Dunham, K., Crowley, S., Bottema‐Beutel, K., Feldman, J., & Woynaroski, T. G. (2021). Understanding the Effects of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions: A Project AIM Meta‐analysis. Autism Research.

Popular Press

Bottema-Beutel, K., Woynaroski, T., & Sandbank, M. (2020, November 24). Errors of omission: Why we are deeply concerned about research on autism therapies. Spectrum.

Invited Presentations

Sandbank, M. (2021). Findings from Project AIM: What we’ve learned from research on interventions designed to support children on the autism spectrum. New Jersey Autism Center for Excellence, Rutgers University. (video)

Sandbank, M., Crowley, S., Bottema-Beutel, K., & Woynaroski, T. (2021). The state of autism intervention research for young children. Panel presented at the 20th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Autism Research.

Sandbank, M. (February, 2020). How much helps and how much is too much: Understanding the new evidence base for intervention recommendations for children with autism. Autism Consortium, The University of Texas at Austin. Austin, TX.

Sandbank, M., Fuller, E., Quinn, E. & Kaiser, A. (2020). Capturing meaningful change: The influence of measurement decisions on evaluations of intervention effectiveness. Panel presented at the Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, San Diego, CA.