New research shows play-based therapy in small doses is positive for children with autism

New research suggests behavioural therapy for autistic children based around play is effective even in small doses.

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New research has shown play-based methods of teaching work well, but families need better access. Source: 1 NEWS

This has brought a call for government funding to extend the behavioural teaching programme to more children.

"I used to live in guilt all the time that I wasn't doing enough, I didn't have the money to do enough, should we be moving overseas? And now I feel like I'm really helping and teaching my kids everyday," says mum Tabitha Harlow.

The early start Early Start Denver Model is a type of play based therapy, used to boost language, social and cognitive skills for young children.

New research conducted by Victoria University shows even less than the recommended 20 hours a week is effective.

"As little as three hours a week of therapist delivered intervention was leading to really positive results," says Victoria University researcher Hannah Waddington.

"There are some really positive results from the slow intensity approach."

Families currently can wait up to 99 days or longer for current therapy methods.

The Ministry of Education claims that many of these wait times "are unacceptable," and is working on a way to reduce the duration and better meet the expectations of children, parents, caregivers and educators.