Evidence-based support for autistic people across the lifespan: maximising potential, minimising barriers, and optimising the person-environment fit.

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Autism is both a medical condition that gives rise to disability and an example of human variation that is characterised by neurological and cognitive differences. The goal of evidence-based intervention and support is to alleviate distress, improve adaptation, and promote wellbeing. Support should be collaborative, with autistic individuals, families, and service providers taking a shared decision-making approach to maximise the individual's potential, minimise barriers, and optimise the person-environment fit. Comprehensive, naturalistic early intervention with active caregiver involvement can facilitate early social communication, adaptive functioning, and cognitive development; targeted intervention can help to enhance social skills and aspects of cognition. Augmentative and alternative communication interventions show preliminary evidence of benefit in minimising communication barriers. Co-occurring health issues, such as epilepsy and other neurodevelopmental disorders, sleep problems, and mental health challenges, should be treated in a timely fashion. The creation of autism-friendly contexts is best achieved by supporting families, reducing stigma, enhancing peer understanding, promoting inclusion in education, the community, and at work, and through advocacy.



Click here to read the full article @ The Lancet. Neurology
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