SMARTer Approach to Personalizing Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2018 Nov 8;61(11):2629-2640. doi: 10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-RSAUT-18-0029.


Purpose: This review article introduces research methods for personalization of intervention. Our goals are to review evidence-based practices for improving social communication impairment in children with autism spectrum disorder generally and then how these practices can be systematized in ways that personalize intervention, especially for children who respond slowly to an initial evidence-based practice.

Method: The narrative reflects on the current status of modular and targeted interventions on social communication outcomes in the field of autism research. Questions are introduced regarding personalization of interventions that can be addressed through research methods. These research methods include adaptive treatment designs and the Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial. Examples of empirical studies using research designs are presented to answer questions of personalization.

Conclusion: Bridging the gap between research studies and clinical practice can be advanced by research that attempts to answer questions pertinent to the broad heterogeneity in children with autism spectrum disorder, their response to interventions, and the fact that a single intervention is not effective for all children.

Presentation video:

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / therapy*
  • Child
  • Communication
  • Early Intervention, Educational*
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Social Skills*