AHRQ Reports: Massage, Other Sensory Interventions Improve Autism Behaviors; Evidence Lacking on Nutritional Supplements or Special Diets
Sensory-focused interventions – such as massage, swinging and trampoline exercises and exposure to different textures – reduced sensory and motor impairments in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to an AHRQ-funded article in the May 26 issue of Pediatrics. A companion article, meanwhile, concluded that little evidence exists to support the use of nutritional supplements or gluten-free/casein-free diets to improve autistic behaviors in children. The articles highlighted findings in a pair of new AHRQ research reviews, Interventions Targeting Sensory Challenges in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Medical Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. The reports are research updates developed to provide clinicians and patients with information to make the best possible decisions about managing ASD behaviors. Both analyses noted that more research is needed over longer periods to establish additional evidence on the benefits and harms of ASD interventions. Access an AHRQ press release on the findings as well as an AHRQ Views blog post by Chief Medical Officer David Meyers, M.D.