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Out of the Ivory Tower: Generalizing Caregiver-Delivered Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder


The objective of the present secondary analysis was to compare two short-term caregiver training interventions or preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the primary outcomes of joint engagement and parent behavior in the context of the home. Participants included 28 caregiver-child dyads who were randomly assigned to receive intervention for three months, either group caregiver education (CEM), or 1:1 individualized caregiver mediated intervention (CMM). Joint engagement and parent behavior was coded from 30-minute home observations at entry, exit, and 3 months post-intervention. The CMM group saw a significant positive treatment effect, with gains in both child-initiated joint engagement and parent behavior ratings. Parent behavior mediated the effect of the individualized intervention on joint engagement. This study is among the first to examine the outcomes of joint engagement and parent behavior in the natural context of the family’s home.

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