Developing a Clinician-Friendly Assessment Tool for a Naturalistic Behavior Intervention
University of California, San Diego
The treatment of autism is complicated by the fact that each child with autism has a unique combination of characteristics that may require a specific mix of therapeutic interventions. To date, very few empirically-based indicators of which children are most likely to respond to a particular treatment exist. This leaves parents and practitioners to try various approaches without knowledge of how effective they will be. One reliable assessment, the Predictive Pivotal Response Training Profile Assessment (PPPA), does accurately determine which children are most likely to respond well to this evidence-based, naturalistic behavior intervention. But to date, the training required to administer the PPPA has been so time-consuming as to limit its use in clinical settings. A modified version of the original PPPA, designed specifically for autism service providers in community settings, is currently being developed. In this project, Dr. Schreibman's fellow will systematically evaluate the validity of the modified PPPA. Once validated, the modified version would allow service providers to quickly and efficiently determine if Pivotal Response Training should be included in the intervention program of a particular child. This experience will also give Dr. Schreibman's fellow a foundation to develop future clinician-friendly assessments of other interventions' usefulness to specific children diagnosed with ASD. What this means for people with autism: Armed with accurate and easily-administered evaluations of which treatments are most likely to help an individual child with autism, parents and service providers can save enormous amounts of time and resources, and efficiently and confidently choose interventions for each child.