Treatment mechanism and outcome measures in social and communication intervention trials for autism spectrum disorder:

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: Psychology


The proposed project will consider the current challenges associated with interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), these being the lack of appropriate outcome measures and the limited understanding of mechanisms underlying interventions. Firstly, the project will test the statistical and clinical validity of a newly developed outcome measure, the Brief Observation of Social and Communication Change (BOSCC). It is hypothesised that the BOSCC will show greater sensitivity to change than the ADOS and other existing outcome measures. Secondly, the project will seek to inform and test the hypothesised mechanism model for the PACT therapy. It is hypothesised that the treatment effect will be partly explained via a two-step mechanism via parental synchrony and child initiations and, in the case of PACT-G, also partly by generalization of new skills across contexts.


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Carruthers S (2020) Beyond intervention into daily life: A systematic review of generalisation following social communication interventions for young children with autism. in Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research