PCIT and Language Facilitation for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Brenda L. Beverly
  • Kimberly ZlomkeEmail author


This chapter outlines the significance of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in facilitating language growth in young children. PCIT’s first phase of treatment, Child Directed Interaction (CDI), is described in relation to literature from child language disorders. Parent-mediated methods, such as responsiveness, engagement, and directive strategies, are linked to the skills taught in CDI (i.e., PRIDE skills). Authors review scientific evidence for the effectiveness of language facilitation strategies, including their three pilot projects investigating PCIT and language growth for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Factors impacting implementation are considered, such as treatment fidelity and dosage, and clinical applications and potential adaptations of PCIT for ASD are discussed.


Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Language Responsiveness Engagement Directive strategies 



We acknowledge the outstanding contributions of many graduate students at the University of South Alabama in speech-language pathology and psychology who have shared responsibility for our projects: Shayne L. Keyes, Kelsey Wagner Watrol, Dongyin Mei, Kate Darnell, Mary Grace Davis, Lori Foran, Jordan Lins, Katelyn McCarthy, Jillian Murphy, Sarah Bauman, Kathryn Jeter, Dustin Lamport, Garet Edwards, and Jessica VanOrmer. These talented individuals have consistently contributed valuable ideas and hard work, and they keep us from being lonely academics. We thank The LENA™ Foundation for providing LENA™ at a discounted price for the limited purposes of one data-driven project. (Their support does not imply endorsement of our ideas or findings.) We are grateful to families of children with autism spectrum disorder who participate in our clinics and our research. Their stories inspire us every day in countless ways.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South AlabamaMobileUSA

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