University of California, Irvine Study by Woo, Donnelly, Steinberg-Epstein and Leon “Environmental Enrichment as a Therapy for Autism; A Clinical Trial Replication and Extension” Published in Behavioral Neuroscience
AMERICAN FORK, UT — June 9, 2015 — Mendability announced today that the second in a series of research trials on which their Sensory Enrichment Therapy is based has been published in Behavioral Neuroscience. The report is titled “Environmental Enrichment as a Therapy for Autism; A Clinical Trial Replication and Extension,” and was co-authored by Michael Leon, Ph.D., Joseph Donnelly, M.D., Robin Steinberg-Epstein, M.D., and Cynthia Woo, Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine.
Sensory Enrichment Therapy, also called Mendability for Autism, was the basis for an initial clinical trial at University of California, Irvine, which was published in 2013 and won the prestigious D.G. Marquis Behavioral Neuroscience Award in 2014. The replication study was recently completed and published, and the results again show that Sensory Enrichment Therapy is effective in reducing the symptoms of autism.
Mendability is the creator and telehealth provider of Sensory Enrichment Therapy for autism, which is a scientifically driven treatment that uses programmed sensory experiences to enable the brain to reduce the symptoms of autism.
“We are very excited that the results we experienced in this randomized clinical trial are similar to what we reported in the initial study, and they also extend the findings in important ways,” said Dr. Michael Leon, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at the University of California, Irvine. “We believe that this type of therapy is an effective adjunct to other standard care therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder.”
The study consisted of two groups of children, all 3-6 years old, and all diagnosed with classic autism. One group — the enriched group — received standard autism care along with Sensory Enrichment Therapy, and the other group received standard autism care alone.
After six months, children in the enriched group showed statistically greater gains in their IQ scores (+8.4 points) relative to the gains showed by children in the standard care group (+1.5 points). There was also a significant decline in the abnormal sensory responses of children in the enriched group, while there was no significant change in the standard care group. Additionally, children in the enriched group improved their receptive language by an amount more than double the standard care group. Importantly, 21% of the children in the enriched group improved in their Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) score to a level below the autism classification cut-off, while none of the standard care group achieved this level of improvement.
“It is important for families who are struggling to help their children with autism to implement therapies supported by empirical data. At Mendability, we continue to look at new studies and research to support the effectiveness of Sensory Enrichment Therapy,” said Rich Bohne, CEO of Mendability. “Since we are a telehealth company, we can deliver our therapy and support to families around the world. It’s so exciting to see children begin to beat the symptoms of autism thanks to Mendability’s Sensory Enrichment Therapy.”
About Mendability: Mendability is the creator and telehealth provider of Sensory Enrichment Therapy for autism. Sensory Enrichment Therapy is a scientifically driven treatment that uses sensory experiences to enable the brain to reduce the symptoms of autism. Mendability provides this therapy over the Internet at a low cost, giving a structured treatment protocol that parents and caregivers can administer twice a day for 10-15 minutes at home without the use of medications. Mendability also provides a kit, which contains the necessary items needed for the exercises, and assigns trained occupational therapists to coach and support the parents. In recent clinical trials of Sensory Enrichment Therapy conducted at University of California, Irvine, 69% of the parents of children with autism who participated in the study reported improvement in their child’s autism symptoms. Additionally, some of the children no longer qualified for a diagnosis of classical autism after 6 months of therapy. Monthly prices for Mendability range from $150 to $200. For more information, please visit: www.mendability.com, or call +1 (888) 579-7002.
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