Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with a Child on the Autism Spectrum: A Case Study

  • Nancy M. Wallace
  • Holly Glick Sly


The application of an evidence-based treatment to a new client population often necessitates careful adaptation to maximize treatment outcomes. The current case study describes the use of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) with a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. Treatment was delivered by two graduate students and supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist. This chapter covers the background of the clinical case, the progression of treatment (from intake to graduation), and concludes with a summary of lessons learned. Challenges encountered throughout treatment and subsequent adaptations implemented are explained. Individual child and family information has been modified to protect the privacy of the client. It is the hope and expectation of the authors that the current case will inform the application of PCIT in treatment with other children with autism spectrum disorder and their families.


Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Autism Child Adaptation 


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Arlington, VA: Author.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Durlak, J. A., & DuPre, E. P. (2008). Implementation matters: A review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes and the factors affecting implementation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41(3–4), 327–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eyberg, S. M. (2005). Tailoring and adapting parent-child interaction therapy for new populations. Education and Treatment of Children, 28, 197–201.Google Scholar
  5. Eyberg, S. M., Nelson, M., Duke, M., & Boggs, S. R. (2004). Manual for the dyadic parent-child interaction coding system (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Eyberg, S. M., & Pincus, D. (1999). Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory and Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory-Revised: Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  7. Gaventa, J. (1980). Power and powerlessness: Quiescence and rebellion in an Appalachian valley. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  8. Geisler, C. C. (1983). Who owns Appalachia? Lexington: University of Kentucky.Google Scholar
  9. Schoenwald, S. K., Sheidow, A. J., Letourneau, E. J., & Liao, J. G. (2003). Transportability of multisystemic therapy: Evidence for multilevel influences. Mental Health Services Research, 5(4), 223–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Timmons-Mitchell, J., Bender, M. B., Kishna, M. A., & Mitchell, C. C. (2006). An independent effectiveness trial of multisystemic therapy with juvenile justice youth. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 35(2), 227–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy M. Wallace
    • 1
  • Holly Glick Sly
    • 2
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins School of MedicineThe Kennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.FMRS Health Systems, Inc.BeckleyUSA

Personalised recommendations