A large clinical trial of a heralded early intervention therapy for autism shows the treatment might not be as advantageous as previously believed.

Young children with autism receiving the therapy known as Early Start Denver Model, or ESDM, did show larger gains in language skills compared to children given other behavior therapies, according to the study published recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

But all of the children in the study showed improvements in language, cognitive and social skills regardless of the type of treatment, signaling a benefit to early intervention generally rather than an overall benefit to any particular method, the researchers said.

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