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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 83 (3), 554-63

Randomized Comparative Efficacy Study of Parent-Mediated Interventions for Toddlers With Autism

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Randomized Comparative Efficacy Study of Parent-Mediated Interventions for Toddlers With Autism

Connie Kasari et al. J Consult Clin Psychol.

Abstract

Objective: This study compared effects of two parent-mediated interventions on joint engagement outcomes as augmentations of an early intervention program for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Method: Participants included 86 toddlers (range 22-36 months) with ASD and their primary caregiver. Caregiver-child dyads were randomized to receive 10 weeks of hands-on parent training in a naturalistic, developmental behavioral intervention (joint attention, symbolic play, engagement and regulation-JASPER) or a parent-only psychoeducational intervention (PEI). Dose was controlled in terms of researcher-parent contact and early intervention services received by the child.

Results: Results yielded significant effects of the JASPER intervention on the primary outcome of joint engagement. The treatment effect was large (Cohen's f² = .69) and maintained over the 6-month follow-up. JASPER effects were also found on secondary outcomes of play diversity, highest play level achieved, and generalization to the child's classroom for child-initiated joint engagement. The PEI intervention was found to be effective in reducing parenting stress associated with child characteristics. All secondary effects were generally small to moderate.

Conclusions: These data highlight the benefit of a brief, targeted, parent-mediated intervention on child outcomes. Future studies may consider the combination of JASPER and PEI treatments for optimal parent and child outcomes. Trial registry no. NCT00999778.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Recruitment Flow Diagram
Figure 2
Figure 2
Time in Joint Engagement (in seconds)
Figure 3
Figure 3
Classroom Joint Engagement (in minutes)

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