The Role of Adaptive Behavior in Evidence-Based Practices for ASD: Translating Intervention into Functional Success

  • Katherine D. Tsatsanis
  • Celine Saulnier
  • Sara S. Sparrow
  • Domenic V. Cicchetti
Chapter

Abstract

The main diagnostic features of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are defined in terms of qualitative impairments in social interaction, communication, and a pattern of restricted interests or repetitive behaviors. However, the particular constellation of symptoms, number, frequency, and severity differs from individual to individual. For some, an end goal in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders, whether stated explicitly or not, is to reduce autistic symptomatology and “cure” the disorder. One positive step in the discourse around treatment for ASD is a change in focus from symptom expression to measured changes in adaptive functioning. From this perspective, the intransigence of the diagnosis is not an indication of lack of success of a treatment model or educational program; rather, an emphasis is placed on functional outcomes such as helping people with ASD attend school in the least restrictive environment, communicate with family and peers, enjoy leisure activities with others, attend to their daily living needs (e.g., toileting, washing, dressing, eating, and cleaning), regulate emotions and behavior, and establish and maintain relationships with others.

Keywords

Depression Risperidone Fenton 

Abbreviations

ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

ADLs

Adaptive daily living skills

ADOS

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule

AS

Asperger Syndrome

ASDs

Autism spectrum disorders

CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy

EIBI

Early intensive behavioral intervention

HFA

High-functioning autism

PDD-NOS

Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified

SSED

Single subject experimental design

VSMS

Vineland Social Maturity Scale

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine D. Tsatsanis
    • 1
  • Celine Saulnier
    • 1
  • Sara S. Sparrow
    • 1
  • Domenic V. Cicchetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale Child Study CenterYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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