Active Ingredients and Therapeutic Processes in Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Research on treatments for social deficits in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has recently proliferated, leading to identification of interventions considered empirically-supported (Rogers & Vismara, 2008; Reichow & Volkmar, 2010). However, few studies have yet addressed the nuanced questions of “why and how does it work, for whom, under what conditions" (Kazdin, 2007). This has been identified as a crucial priority (e.g. Lerner, et al., 2012; Maglione et al., 2012), as identification of “active ingredients” and therapeutic mechanisms is essential to achieving the goal of optimized evidence-based therapies. There currently exist a wide array of methodological and statistical approaches to uncovering processes responsible for change in interventions. In this panel, we will introduce and describe several different approaches with unique applications to disentangling therapeutic processes across childhood. To achieve coordinated teaching across research groups, cutting edge treatment data will be used to elucidate both how given process variables relate to discrete outcomes, and what they may reflect about general process analysis principles. Key factors such as parental involvement, operative therapist behaviors, conceptual and manual fidelity, and knowledge- versus performance-training strategies will be presented, with an integrative discussion aimed at highlighting the utility and accessibility of studying therapeutic processes in ASD.
Friday, May 16, 2014: 3:30 PM-5:30 PM
Marquis BC (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)