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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Do Behavioural Approaches Teach Children with Autism to Play or Are They Pretending?

Luckett, T., Bundy, A., et al. (2007).
Autism, 11(4), 365-388.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality No
Quality assessments are reproducible N/A

Description: This is a review of research relating to behavioral approaches to promote play in children with autism.

Question(s) Addressed:

What is the effectiveness of behavioral intervention approaches in promoting play in children with autism?

Population: Children with autism

Intervention/Assessment: Behavioral approaches which promote play

Number of Studies Included: 41

Years Included: Not stated



  • Treatment
    • Cognition/Language
      • Applied Behavioral Analysis/Discrete Trial Training - The results of this review suggest that behavioral approaches are sometimes effective in changing children's play behaviors. The authors note that while the interventions were highly structured and emphasized reinforcement and shaping, the actual instruction strategies used with children were often not typical behavioral strategies. 

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Behavioral Treatments

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Added to Compendium: December 2011

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