Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 495–508 | Cite as

Emotion Regulation Intensive Outpatient Programming: Development, Feasibility, and Acceptability

  • Rebecca C. ShafferEmail author
  • Logan K. Wink
  • Jennifer Ruberg
  • Alexis Pittenger
  • Ryan Adams
  • Michael Sorter
  • Patricia Manning
  • Craig A. Erickson
Original Paper


Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities (DD) often struggle with behavior management and emotion-regulation (ER). In this manuscript, we describe the results of a chart review examining a group treatment program designed to address ER deficits in youth with ASD and/or DD. The intensive 5 week program utilizes cognitive behavior, applied behavior analysis, and mindfulness techniques and includes biweekly child and parent groups. Results indicate that this program is feasible and associated with high caregiver satisfaction. Pre-and-post outcome results indicate statistically significant improvement on behavioral measures, but did not demonstrate significant improvment on the Pediatric Quality of Life Family Impact Module. Based on overall positive outcomes, a randomized controlled trial of the program is indicated.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Emotion regulation Group treatment Intensive outpatient programming Cognitive behavioral therapy Parent training 



We would like to thank all of the staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center who assisted with ER-IOP, particularly our behavior assistant Jennifer Harms and additional group leaders Allison Blackburn, Nicole Klein, and Lauren Schmitt. This program would not be possible without their expertise and hard work.

Author Contributions

RCS developed and led the program, analyzed chart review data, and crafted the manuscript, LKW assisted with manuscript development, JR assisted with program development and group implementation, AP assisted with group implementation and manuscript development, RA assisted with data analysis, PCM supported the program implementation, MS supported the program implementation, CAE assisted with program development and manuscript development.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Division of Developmental and Behavioral PediatricsCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Division of PsychiatryCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA

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