Pre-symptomatic intervention for autism spectrum disorder (ASD): defining a research agenda

Rebecca Grzadzinski, Dima Amso, Rebecca Landa, Linda Watson, Michael Guralnick, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Gedeon Deák, Annette Estes, Jessica Brian, Kevin Bath, Jed Elison, Leonard Abbeduto, Jason Wolff, Joseph Piven

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) impacts an individual’s ability to socialize, communicate, and interact with, and adapt to, the environment. Over the last two decades, research has focused on early identification of ASD with significant progress being made in understanding the early behavioral and biological markers that precede a diagnosis, providing a catalyst for pre-symptomatic identification and intervention. Evidence from preclinical trials suggest that intervention prior to the onset of ASD symptoms may yield more improved developmental outcomes, and clinical studies suggest that the earlier intervention is administered, the better the outcomes. This article brings together a multidisciplinary group of experts to develop a conceptual framework for behavioral intervention, during the pre-symptomatic period prior to the consolidation of symptoms into diagnosis, in infants at very-high-likelihood for developing ASD (VHL-ASD). The overarching goals of this paper are to promote the development of new intervention approaches, empirical research, and policy efforts aimed at VHL-ASD infants during the pre-symptomatic period (i.e., prior to the consolidation of the defining features of ASD).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalJournal of neurodevelopmental disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Catherine Lord for her feedback and contributions to improving this manuscript and Alapika Jatkar for her assistance with editing and formatting.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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