© 2011

Evidence-Based Practices and Treatments for Children with Autism

  • Brian Reichow
  • Peter Doehring
  • Domenic V. Cicchetti
  • Fred R. Volkmar

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Introduction

  3. Treatment Reviews

  4. Research to Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 295-295
    2. Katherine D. Tsatsanis, Celine Saulnier, Sara S. Sparrow, Domenic V. Cicchetti
      Pages 297-308
    3. Ruth Blennerhassett Eren, Pamela Owen Brucker
      Pages 309-341
    4. Peter Doehring, Vincent Winterling
      Pages 343-363
    5. Fred R. Volkmar, Brian Reichow, Peter Doehring
      Pages 365-391
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 393-408

About this book


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have been increasingly diagnosed in recent years and carries with it far reaching social and financial implications. With this in mind, educators, physicians, and parents are searching for the best practices and most effective treatments. But because the symptoms of ASDs span multiple domains (e.g., communication and language, social, behavioral), successfully meeting the needs of a child with autism can be quite challenging.

Evidence-Based Practices and Treatments for Children with Autism offers an insightful and balanced perspective on topics ranging from the historical underpinnings of autism treatment to the use of psychopharmacology and the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs). An evaluation methodology is also offered to reduce the risks and inconsistencies associated with the varying definitions of key autism terminology. This commitment to clearly addressing the complex issues associated with ASDs continues throughout the volume and provides opportunities for further research.

Additional issues addressed include:

  • Behavioral excesses and deficits treatment
  • Communication treatment
  • Social awareness and social skills treatment
  • Dietary, complementary, and alternative treatments
  • Implementation of EBPs in school settings
  • Interventions for sensory dysfunction

With its holistic and accessible approach, Evidence-Based Practices and Treatments for Children with Autism is a vital resource for school psychologists and special education professionals as well as allied mental health professionals, including clinical child and developmental psychologists, psychiatrist, pediatricians, primary care and community providers.


ASD Adaptive Behaviors Autism Autism Spectrum Disorder Communication Developmental Disabilities Evidence-based Practice Evidence-based Treatment IDEA Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act Intellectual Disabilities NCLB Neuropsychological Disorders No Child Left Behind Pharmacological Treatments Problem Behaviors Social Awareness Social Skills

Editors and affiliations

  • Brian Reichow
    • 1
  • Peter Doehring
    • 2
  • Domenic V. Cicchetti
    • 3
  • Fred R. Volkmar
    • 4
  1. 1.Yale Child Study CenterNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Center for Autism ResearchThe Children's Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Yale Child Study CenterNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Yale Child Study CenterNew HavenUSA

About the editors

Brian Reichow, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center and Coordinator of Action Based Research for the Autism Center of Excellence at Southern Connecticut State University. He began his training in autism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Elementary Education and completed his graduate training in Special Education at Vanderbilt University. Before returning for his graduate degrees, he was a teacher of children with autism in the public schools of North Carolina. He has used his experience and knowledge from being a teacher to help guide his research, which focuses on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of instruction for children with autism, identifying evidence-based practices for individuals with autism, and increasing the use of evidence-based practices in classrooms.

Peter Doehring, Ph.D., is currently Director of Regional Programs at the Center for Autism Research, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and The University of Pennsylvania. He works to describe, implement, and research programs for training and intervention related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). His is particularly interested in how we might build capacity for evidence-based assessment, education, and treatment in community-based settings that are accessible to a broad and diverse population. He was originally trained in Canada as clinical-research psychologist, where he worked to develop research and early intervention programs for children with ASD at the local and regional level. From 1999 until 2008, he served as Statewide Director for the Delaware Autism Program (DAP), one of the largest and most comprehensive public school programs specializing in ASD in the USA.

Domenic V. Cicchetti, Ph.D., is a Yale psychologist and statistician with longstanding interest in analyses of rating scale and reliability data. As the author of numerous articles and a textbook, he has published extensively in the area of autism including work on the reliability of rating scales, of diagnostic criteria, innovative approaches to diagnosis, screening test, and assessment of agreement on treatment effects and rating scales. Co-recipient (with Dr. Sara Sparrow) of the first Connecticut Psychological Association's "Award for Distinguished Effort by a Connecticut Psychologist, Utilizing Psychological Knowledge and Skills, Which Has Made A Material Contribution to the Welfare of the Public" at Fairfield Connecticut, on December 7, 1984. The award was for the development and publication of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (Sparrow, Balla, & Cicchetti, 1984). He is also a Fellow in the American Statistical Association, the highest award the organization can bestow upon its members. The award was given, "For contributions in behavioral and biomedical statistics, particularly assessment of psychometric properties of clinical diagnostic instruments, and for innovative methodologies for interexaminer reliability assessments."

Fred R. Volkmar, M.D., is the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology and Director of the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine. An international authority on Asperger’s disorder and autism, Dr. Volkmar was the primary author of the DSM-IV autism and pervasive developmental disorders section. He has authored several hundred scientific papers and has co-edited numerous books, including Asperger Syndrome, A Practical Guide to Autism, and the third edition of The Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. He has served as associate editor of the Journal of Autism, the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and the American Journal of Psychiatry. He also has served as co-chairperson of the autism/MR committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Starting in March 2007 he became editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals


From the reviews:

"In summary, “Evidence-based Practices and Treatment for Children with Autism” provides a well-organized, up to date analysis of the major treatment programs with proven efficacy. It links research with clinical practice for children with ASDs, a major public health concern. For that reason, I highly recommend this book. As each of us struggles to find the most effective treatment for this critical population of children, we owe it to ourselves and our patients to understand the basis for and effectiveness of our treatment decisions."
- Cathy Scheiner, MD, Developmental Pediatrics, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, Vol 34., No. 3, April 2013


“This book presents various treatments for autistic spectrum disorders which are supported by meta-analytic research. … Graduate students in psychology and social work would benefit as well. … book presents the latest research findings in order to give readers a better understanding of autistic spectrum disorders and treatment options. … It is easy to read and filled with useful information on evidence-based practices, along with hundreds of references to follow up on specific details. This is essential reading for clinicians in the field.”
- Gary B. Kaniuk, Doody’s Review Service, April, 2011


"In the words of the classic Wendy’s commercial, it is often very difficult to find “the beef” amid the hype. Evidence-Based Practices and Treatments for Children With Autism, edited by Reichow, Doehring, Cicchetti, and Volkmar, aims to provide this much-needed tempered view of the field. In careful prose, the authors examine the evidence on treatment outcomes for a number of behavior problems of special interest to clinicians working with children with autism, as well as to their families.

As a result of its strong organizational structure, this book provides a timely and much-needed addition to the literature. Rather than further obfuscating an already confused field with unsupported pronouncements, it provides a measured, comprehensive, and evaluative review of the research, identifying what we know is effective (e.g., joint attention training and milieu communication training; Prelock, Paul, and Allen, Chapter 5); what appears promising (e.g., cognitive-behavior therapy as a treatment of comorbid anxiety disorders; Wood, Fujii, and Renno, Chapter 7); and what currently has no evidence (e.g., dietary and nutritional supplements, such as gluten-free or casein-free diets; Hyman and Levy, Chapter 10)."
- Jeanne M. Slattery and MollyJill Smrekar, PsycCRITIQUES, October 19, 2011, Vol. 56, Release 42, Article 8