Increasing global access to early intervention for young children with ASD

Jill Howard, Geraldine Dawson


In their recent paper, “Caregiver descriptions of joint activity routines with young children with autism spectrum disorder in South Africa”, Ramseur and colleagues examined the applicability of an early intervention model for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which was developed and validated in more highly resourced settings, to the diverse cultural context of South Africa (1). They highlighted the importance of this work by noting the dearth of ASD research on the African continent; for example, Africa is yet to see an ASD prevalence study, and as of 2017, a scoping review identified only 53 peer-reviewed publications on ASD published in sub-Saharan Africa (2). Moreover, none of the publications focused on early intervention in Africa. Thus, Ramseur et al.’s study represents an important step forward in addressing the needs of children with ASD in South Africa.