Pre-symptomatic intervention for autism spectrum disorder (ASD): defining a research agenda Academic Article uri icon

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  • AbstractAutism spectrum disorder (ASD) impacts an individual’s ability to socialize, communicate, and interact with, and adapt to, the environment. Over the last two decades, research has focused on early identification of ASD with significant progress being made in understanding the early behavioral and biological markers that precede a diagnosis, providing a catalyst for pre-symptomatic identification and intervention. Evidence from preclinical trials suggest that intervention prior to the onset of ASD symptoms may yield more improved developmental outcomes, and clinical studies suggest that the earlier intervention is administered, the better the outcomes. This article brings together a multidisciplinary group of experts to develop a conceptual framework for behavioral intervention, during the pre-symptomatic period prior to the consolidation of symptoms into diagnosis, in infants at very-high-likelihood for developing ASD (VHL-ASD). The overarching goals of this paper are to promote the development of new intervention approaches, empirical research, and policy efforts aimed at VHL-ASD infants during the pre-symptomatic period (i.e., prior to the consolidation of the defining features of ASD).


  • Grzadzinski, Rebecca
  • Amso, Dima
  • Landa, Rebecca
  • Watson, Linda
  • Guralnick, Michael
  • Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie
  • Deák, Gedeon
  • Estes, Annette
  • Brian, Jessica
  • Bath, Kevin
  • Elison, Jed
  • Abbeduto, Leonard
  • Wolff, Jason
  • Piven, Joseph

publication date

  • December 2021