Summary of Lessons Learned from Two Studies: An Open Clinical Trial and a Randomized Controlled Trial of PCIT and Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Ashley Tempel ScudderEmail author
  • Cassandra Brenner Wong
  • Marissa Mendoza-Burcham
  • Benjamin Handen


Recently, there has been a growing interest in the use of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) among preschoolers and school-age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this chapter, we describe two studies of PCIT and ASD: an open clinical trial and a randomized controlled trial. In both evaluations, we used the standard PCIT protocol to examine treatment efficacy with children 3–7 years of age and tested the traditional PCIT model without adaptations. However, tailoring the model to meet the unique needs of individual children was necessary. In a few cases, adapting the model was required to address persistent aggression in CDI and difficulty sitting for a length of 3 min during the discipline sequence. We discuss the considerable promise of PCIT as a treatment for children with ASD to reduce disruptive behavior severity and we highlight particular lessons learned through our clinical work with children with ASD and their families.


Randomized-controlled trial open-clinical trial Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Parent-Directed Interaction Child-Directed Interaction preschool early school age 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashley Tempel Scudder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cassandra Brenner Wong
    • 2
  • Marissa Mendoza-Burcham
    • 3
  • Benjamin Handen
    • 2
  1. 1.Chatham UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Penn State University—BeaverMonacaUSA

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