Parent Training for Children with Autism

Randomized Trial of Parent Training for Young Children with Autism

Protocol Description

This study evaluates two approaches to helping parents deal with behavioral problems in their young children with autism: a Parent Training program (PT) and a Parent Education Program (PEP). PT sessions involve direct instruction, watching video examples, behavior rehearsal with feedback from the behavior therapist and role-playing of specific skills. PEP sessions include specialized sessions on a range of autism-related subjects, such as understanding and interpreting clinical evaluations, long-term developmental concerns, educational placement issues, and current treatments and service options. Researchers will evaluate which is more acceptable to parents and effective in decreasing problem behaviors and increasing daily living skills in their children.

Eligibility Criteria

Parent Training for Young Children with Autism
View the study brochure (PDF)

Subject to certain eligibility requirements, this study is open to parents/guardians of boys and girls who have been diagnosed with autistic disorder or pervasive development disorder and are between the ages of 3 and 7 and enrolled in preschool or kindergarten.
Parents/Guardians of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder between the ages of 3 and 7

Before starting the study, children will be evaluated over the course of 2 visits to determine whether the program is appropriate, and a functional analysis will be conducted to observe specific interactions between parent and child. Participants will be randomly assigned for either PT or PEP. Each program consists of between 11 and 13 core sessions, plus optional sessions and booster sessions, all of which are delivered individually (not in groups) at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s Child Development Unit in Oakland. There will also be up to 3 home visits. Each session is 75 to 90 minutes in duration.
Visits/Sessions: 13 to 20
Duration: Up to 24 weeks

Status: Open for Enrollment

Source(s) of Support
National Institute of Mental Health

Primary Investigator(s)

Cynthia Johnson, PhD

Contact Information

To get started, please contact:
Kelley Sacco, BS

Last Update
January 6, 2014
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Last Update
January 6, 2014