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Medical News and Perspectives
June 16, 2004

Autism Interventions Come of Age

JAMA. 2004;291(23):2807-2808. doi:10.1001/jama.291.23.2807

On the far side of a one-way window, a 5-year-old boy with a shock of blond hair arranges colored blocks. When he finishes the task, his teacher praises him, and the boy rushes off to his toys.

Similar scenes play out in preschools across the country every day, but this calm episode carries a special significance. Eight weeks earlier, the towheaded boy arrived at the Early Childhood Program at the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA), Neuropsychiatric Institute and promptly flopped on the floor and screamed. He lashed out, hitting and kicking anyone within range. He yelled "No!" when teachers asked him to perform simple tasks. He fixated on power cords, spending hours—if allowed—twisting them and plugging them in and pulling them out.

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