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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2005 Jun;73(3):525-38.

Individual behavioral profiles and predictors of treatment effectiveness for children with autism.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0109, USA.


Differential responsiveness to intervention programs suggests the inadequacy of a single treatment approach for all children with autism. One method for reducing outcome variability is to identify participant characteristics associated with different outcomes for a specific intervention. In this investigation, an analysis of archival data yielded 2 distinct behavioral profiles for responders and nonresponders to a widely used behavioral intervention, pivotal response training (PRT). In a prospective study, these profiles were used to select 6 children (3 predicted responders and 3 predicted nonresponders) who received PRT. Children with pretreatment responder profiles evidenced positive changes on a range of outcome variables. Children with pretreatment nonresponder profiles did not exhibit improvements. These results offer promise for the development of individualized treatment protocols for children with autism.

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