A Pilot Study of the Effects of an Australian Centre-Based Early Intervention Program for Children with Autism

Jessica Paynter*, James Scott, Wendi Beamish, Michael Duhig, Helen Heussler
AEIOU Foundation, N77 Recreation Road, NATHAN, QLD 4111, Australia.

© 2012 Paynter et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the AEIOU Foundation, N77 Recreation Road, NATHAN, QLD 4111, Australia; Tel: +617 3320 7924; Fax: +617 3277 2422; E-mails:,


The current study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of an Australian centre-based early intervention program for children with autism. Outcomes for 10 children with autistic disorder aged between 32 and 65 months of age participating in the AEIOU early intervention program were investigated. Measures of educational, cognitive, and adaptive skills as well as autism symptoms were administered. Significant gains in educational skills in the areas of cognitive verbal/preverbal, fine motor and visual-motor imitation, motor domain score, and social reciprocity, were obtained as were decreases in autism symptoms. Limited evidence of gains was obtained for measures of cognitive or adaptive behaviour skills. This study provides promising preliminary evidence in support of the AEIOU program in terms of symptom reduction and increases in educational skills. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, early intervention, educational skills, outcome.