Helping Parents Generalize PCIT Skills to Manage ASD-Related Behaviors: Handouts and Clinical Applications

  • Catherine A. BurrowsEmail author
  • Meaghan V. Parladé
  • Dainelys Garcia
  • Jason F. Jent


This chapter will provide several handouts for parents to help tailor Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) skills to manage autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-related behaviors (e.g., repetitive play, sensory dysregulation, insistence on sameness, poor social skills). Handouts cover how to manage ASD-related behaviors within the context of PCIT’s two phases: Child-Directed Interaction (CDI) and Parent-Directed Interaction (PDI). The chapter will additionally provide strategies for clinicians to help parents generalize skill acquisition to the home (e.g., additional considerations for setting up Special Time practice) and community environments (e.g., using CDI skills throughout the day). This chapter and the accompanying parent handouts aim to provide information for clinicians to best support families of children with ASD in generalizing these skills to manage ASD-related behaviors.


Autism spectrum disorder Parent-child interaction therapy Generalization Tailoring Clinical applications 


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®).American Psychiatric Pub.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, K., DeLoatche, J. K., Preece, K. K., & Agazzi, H. (2015). Combining Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and visual supports for the treatment of challenging behavior in a child with autism and intellectual disabilities and comorbid epilepsy. Clinical Case Studies, 14(1), 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baron-Cohen, S., Ashwin, E., Ashwin, C., Tavassoli, T., & Chakrabarti, B. (2009). Talent in autism: Hyper-systemizing, hyper-attention to detail and sensory hypersensitivity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B: Biological Sciences, 364(1522), 1377–1383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baron-Cohen, S. (1987). Autism and symbolic play. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 5(2), 139–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellini, S. (2006). The development of social anxiety in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21(3), 138–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chaudry, M., & Dissanayake, C. (2015). Pretend Play in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Children’s Play, Pretense, and Story: Studies in Culture, Context, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, 31.Google Scholar
  7. Eyberg, S. M. (2005). Tailoring and adapting parent-child interaction therapy to new populations. Education and Treatment of Children, 28, 197–201.Google Scholar
  8. Eyberg, S. M., & Funderburk, B. (2011). Parent-child interaction therapy protocol. Gainesville, FL: PCIT International, Inc.Google Scholar
  9. Eyberg, S., & Pincus, D. (1999). Eyberg child behavior inventory & sutter-eyberg student behavior inventory-revised: professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  10. Ginn, N. C., Clionsky, L. N., Eyberg, S. M., Warner-Metzger, C., & Abner, J. P. (2015). Child directed interaction training for young children with autism spectrum disorders: Parent and child outcomes. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 18, 1–9.Google Scholar
  11. Hansen, B., & Shillingsburg, M. A. (2016). Using a modified Parent-Child Interaction Therapy to increase vocalizations in children with autism. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 38(4), 318–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hatamzadeh, A., Pouretemad, H., & Hassanabadi, H. (2010). The effectiveness of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for children with high functioning autism. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 5, 994–997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lenze, S. N., Pautsch, J., & Luby, J. (2011). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy emotion development: A novel treatment for depression in preschool children. Depression and Anxiety, 28(2), 153–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lesak, R., Bearss, K., Celano, M., & Sharp, W. G. (2014). Parent-child interaction therapy and autism spectrum disorder: Adaptations with a child with severe developmental delay. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 2, 68–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Masse, J. J., McNeil, C. B., Wagner, S., & Quetsch, L. B. (2016). Examining the efficacy of parent-child interaction therapy with children on the autism spectrum. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(8), 2508–2525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mazefsky, C. A., Herrington, J., Siegel, M., Scarpa, A., Maddox, B. B., Scahill, L., & White, S. W. (2013). The role of emotion regulation in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(7), 679–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McDiarmid, M. D., & Bagner, D. M. (2005). Parent-child interaction therapy with disruptive behavior and developmental disabilities. Education and Treatment of Children, 28(2), 130–141.Google Scholar
  18. Rowley, A. M., Weinstein, A., Parlade, M. V., Beaumont, A., Alvarez-Tabio, C., Brinster, M., & Jent, J. (2015, October). A matched-controlled comparison of PCIT treatment processes and outcomes for children with ASD and for typically developing children. Poster presented at the 2015. Pittsburgh, PA: PCIT International Convention.Google Scholar
  19. Schopler, E., & Mesibov, G. B. (Eds.). (2013). Learning and cognition in autism. Springer Science & Business Media.Google Scholar
  20. Solomon, M., Ono, M., Timmer, S., & Goodlin-Jones, B. (2008). The effectiveness of parent-child interaction therapy for families of children on the autism spectrum. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1767–1776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Stone, W. L., & Caro-Martinez, L. M. (1990). Naturalistic observations of spontaneous communication in autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 20(4), 437–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Zlomke, K. R., Jeter, K., & Murphy, J. (2017). Open-trial pilot of parent-child interaction therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 39, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine A. Burrows
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Meaghan V. Parladé
    • 2
  • Dainelys Garcia
    • 2
  • Jason F. Jent
    • 2
  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

Personalised recommendations