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NICE Clinical Guidance on the Core Symptoms in Children and Young People on the Autism Spectrum

The following is an extract from "Autism spectrum disorder in under 19s: support and management". (2013). London: NICE. 


Psychosocial interventions

5.6.1.1 Consider a specific social-communication intervention for the core features of autism in children and young people that includes play-based strategies with parents, carers and teachers to increase joint attention, engagement and reciprocal communication in the child or young person. Strategies should:

  • be adjusted to the child or young person's developmental level
  • aim to increase the parents', carers', teachers' or peers' understanding of, and sensitivity and responsiveness to, the child or young person's patterns of communication and interaction
  • include techniques of therapist modelling and video-interaction feedback
  • include techniques to expand the child or young person's communication, interactive play and social routines.

The intervention should be delivered by a trained professional. For pre-school children consider parent, carer or teacher mediation. For school-aged children consider peer mediation.

Pharmacological and dietary interventions

5.6.1.2 Do not use the following interventions for the management of core features of autism in children and young people:

  • antipsychotics
  • antidepressants
  • anticonvulsants
  • exclusion diets (such as gluten- or casein-free diets).

Interventions for autism that should not be used in any context

5.6.1.3 Do not use the following interventions to manage autism in any context in children and young people:

  • secretin
  • chelation
  • hyperbaric oxygen therapy

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Updated
21 Jun 2018