B2-E: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Children on the Spectrum: Introduction and Considerations for Providers and Parents

Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) is an empirically supported treatment for children with disruptive behaviors. In neurotypical children, PCIT has a larger effect size than comparable parenting programs, such as the Incredible Years and the Triple P parenting program. For children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), PCIT has been shown to improve language, communication, social skills, adaptability, restricted and repetitive behavior, compliance, and activities of daily living. While the discipline strategies (e.g., time-out) in PCIT for ASD may be adapted or foregone based on child and family needs, selective attention (where caregivers give positive attention to helpful behaviors and remove attention to unhelpful behaviors) is central to PCIT. The proposed lecture will discuss utility of PCIT compared to other caregiver-directed treatments for children with ASD, teach PCIT “Do” and “Don’t” skills for reinforcing helpful behaviors, and discuss how to identify which behaviors to target within a neurodiversity-affirming model.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the differences between PCIT and other parent-directed treatments for children
    with ASD.
  2. Learn PCIT “Do” and “Don’t” skills to improve the parent-child relationship, reinforce helpful
    behaviors, and reduce the frequency of unhelpful behaviors.
    3.Think critically about what behaviors are helpful to target for children on the spectrum to
    provide neurodiversity-affirming care.
Behavior Communication Family Health & Wellness Mental Health Social Skills


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