Interventions for the improvement of social skills in individuals with Autism spectrum disorder in India: A systematic review
Background: The increase in the prevalence of Autism Spectrum disorders (ASD) in India is at a gaping contrast with the existing knowledge on effective interventions practiced in India. Though several types of intervention are prevalent and have proved its efficiency in foreign countries, such studies within the Indian context are very rare. Aims: This review is an attempt to evaluate the interventions focused on the improvement of social skills of individuals with ASD in India. Methods: Studies published through 2000 to 2020 were selected for the study. Evidence is presented for nine treatment categories: Behavioral interventions, Developmental Interventions, TEACHH approach, Parent-mediated Interventions, speech based Interventions, electronics based interventions, augmentative and alternative communication, play based interventions and Yoga based interventions. These studies were drawn from databases Ebesco, Proquest, PubMed, MEDLINE, science direct and Google Scholar. Though a definitive conclusion cannot be drawn without a meta-analysis, the available evidence is gathered and evaluated in the present review. Results: The review has proved to be a reliable summary on the interventions practiced in India on improving social skills of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It revealed that several treatments exist in India that has proved its efficacy. Conclusions: Parent-mediated interventions may be more appropriate for the resource poor settings of India, when developmental interventions may be more appropriate for the resource rich settings of India. The scarcity of published literature on the topic in India is also a significant factor that highlighted itself due course of the research.