Pilot Trial of a Comprehensive Summer Psychosocial Treatment for High-Functioning Young Children with ASD
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This study examined the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a comprehensive summer psychosocial treatment (summerMAXyc) for high-functioning young children, ages 4–6 years, with ASD (HFASD). The 5-week treatment, conducted 5 days per week, 6 h per day, included skills instruction and therapeutic activities targeting social/social-communication skills, facial-emotion recognition, and interest expansion. A behavioral system was implemented to increase skills acquisition and maintenance and reduce ASD symptoms and problem behaviors. Feasibility was supported in high levels of treatment fidelity and child, parent, and staff clinician satisfaction. Significant post-treatment improvements were found for 9 of 10 outcome measures including parent and staff clinician ratings of targeted social/social-communication skills, ASD symptoms, and broader adaptive social and communication skills, and staff clinician ratings of daily living skills. Results suggested that summerMAXyc was feasible and may yield positive outcomes for 4–6 year olds with HFASD.
KeywordsManualized treatment Comprehensive summer psychosocial treatment High-functioning young children with ASD
Compliance with ethical standards
This work was supported by the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation. Findings and conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agency.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Written parental consent and child assent were obtained prior to the study.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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