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Efficacy Study of a Social Communication and Self-Regulation Intervention for School-Age Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Nowell, S. W., Watson, L. R., Boyd, B., & Klinger, L. G.
July, 2019

The purpose of this study aimed to examine the initial efficacy of a parent-assisted blended intervention combining components of Structured TEACCHing and Social Thinking, designed to increase social communication and self-regulation concept knowledge in 1st and 2nd graders ( n = 17) diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their parents. Preliminary efficacy of the Growing, Learning, and Living With Autism Group was established. Based on parent report at the conclusion of the intervention, this is a socially valid intervention for teaching social communication and self-regulation skills to school-age children with ASD.

Method: A randomized delayed treatment control group design with pre- and postintervention assessments of both parents and children was implemented within a community practice setting. Two follow-up assessments at 3 and 6 months postintervention were also completed.

Results: Overall, results indicate that the intervention is efficacious in teaching social communication and self-regulation concept knowledge to children with ASD and their parents. Both parents and children demonstrated an increase in social communication and self-regulation knowledge after participating in the Growing, Learning, and Living With Autism Group as compared to a delayed treatment control group. The effects of the intervention did not extend to parent–child interactions coded from video recordings. Child treatment effects were maintained at the 3- and 6-month follow-up assessments.

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