Dialogues Clin Neurosci 2013 Jun;15(2):225-33
TEACCH Autism Program and Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
A significant proportion of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are referred to mental health centers due to the presence of challenging behaviors. Because challenging behaviors in children and adolescents with ASD often result from underlying social and communication difficulties and comorbid anxiety, traditional caregiver-mediated behavior intervention techniques developed for children with disruptive behavior disorders may need to be adapted for this population. Behavioral interventions that target communication skills, social skills, anxiety, and sensory responsiveness in children with ASD may be needed. Notably, while best practice necessitates the involvement of caregivers in treating children and adolescents with ASD, few randomized control studies have examined the effectiveness of caregiver-implemented interventions in reducing challenging behaviors. This review summarizes the current literature with regard to caregiver-mediated behavioral interventions for children with ASD, and suggests areas for intervention development and research.