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J Clin Child Psychol. 2001 Mar;30(1):19-32.

Pivotal areas in intervention for autism.

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Counseling/Clinical/School Psychology Program, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9490, USA.


Discusses several core pivotal areas that appear to be influential in intervention for autism. Literature and outcome data are reviewed with respect to several core areas that appear to be particularly helpful in intervention for autism, including improving motivation, responsivity to multiple cues, self-management, and self-initiation of social interactions. A conceptual framework is described, and outcome data are reviewed suggesting that when children with autism are motivated to initiate complex social interactions, it may reverse a cycle of impairment, resulting in exceptionally favorable intervention outcomes for many children. Because the peripheral features of autism can be numerous and extensive, the concept of intervention for pivotal areas of functioning may be critical if children are to be habilitated in a time- and cost-efficient manner.

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