Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 829–840

A Pilot Study of Parent Training in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Disruptive Behavior

  • Karen Bearss
  • Cynthia Johnson
  • Benjamin Handen
  • Tristram Smith
  • Lawrence Scahill

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-012-1624-7

Cite this article as:
Bearss, K., Johnson, C., Handen, B. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2013) 43: 829. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1624-7


Guidance on effective interventions for disruptive behavior in young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is limited. We present feasibility and initial efficacy data on a structured parent training program for 16 children (ages 3–6) with ASD and disruptive behavior. The 6-month intervention included 11 Core and up to 2 Optional sessions. The program was acceptable to parents as evidenced by an attendance rate of 84 % for Core sessions. Fourteen of 16 families completed the treatment. An independent clinician rated 14 of 16 subjects as much improved or very much improved at Week 24. Using last observation carried forward, the parent-rated Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Irritability subscale decreased 54 % from 16.00 (SD = 9.21) to 7.38 (SD = 6.15).


Autism Parent training Disruptive behavior Adaptive skills 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Bearss
    • 1
  • Cynthia Johnson
    • 2
  • Benjamin Handen
    • 3
  • Tristram Smith
    • 4
  • Lawrence Scahill
    • 5
  1. 1.Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  5. 5.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations