Mapping PCIT onto the Landscape of Parent Training Programs for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Parent training (PT) is generally synonymous with “evidence-based treatment for children with disruptive behavior” and it is considered to be among the most well-established treatments in child mental health. The recognized struggles parents face in raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have led to increased interest in developing new parenting interventions as well as applying established evidence-based interventions to support caregivers and youth with ASD. Due to the complex nature of ASD, PT program development in this population has taken a multifaceted path, targeting a wide range of behaviors beyond challenging behaviors to include deficits in language, social reciprocity, self- help skills, and joint attention, as well as self- stimulatory and repetitive behaviors. This presentation will review the diverse and complex landscape of PT for individuals with ASD and highlight the unique contributions PCIT brings to the field of parenting interventions in ASD.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the role of parent training as a front-line treatment for children with ASD
  • Differentiate the various types of parent training for youth with ASD, and the unique contributions of PCIT within this treatment landscape

Karen Bearss, PhD

Karen Bearss is a clinical child psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. Current research pursuits at UW include developing, evaluating and implementing evidence-based parenting interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She also directs the RUBI Parenting Clinic at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center. Dr. Bearss is first author on the RUBI Parent Training manual, published by Oxford University Press. 

Partnering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategies with Parent-Child Interaction Therapy to Promote Healthy Futures of Racially/Ethnically Diverse Children and Families

Wide dissemination of PCIT offers the advantage of promoting healthy futures of children from traditionally underserved racial/ethnic groups. Yet, challenges to wide reach of evidence-based treatments generally include the limited capacity of practices and organizations to establish themselves as credible and reliable sources of support for diverse children and families.  Complementary approaches that address child mental health equity, promote workforce diversity, and create inclusive environments can overcome these challenges. The objective of this presentation is to discuss partnering comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy with PCIT as an innovation to foster wide reach to children and families from racial/ethnic groups that are traditionally underserved in child mental health treatment.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Define Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Recognize the Case for Diversity and Inclusion to Expand Reach of PCIT to Groups with Mental Health Service Disparities
  • Identify Opportunities to Expand the Scope of Work in PCIT Research, Practice, and Training

Ashley Butler, PhD

Dr. Ashley Butler is a child psychologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Dr. Butler’s practice is geared towards early intervention and treatment with preschoolers and pediatric patients with mental health diagnoses including ADHD, anxiety, behavioral problems, and learning disorders. In addition to providing clinical services, Dr. Butler serves as Principal Investigator on National Institutes of Health sponsored research projects centered on community engagement and pediatric health disparities. She also leads a National Institutes of Health funded educational program to promote the diversity of the scientific workforce. Dr. Butler also leads diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the Section of Psychology at Baylor College of Medicine, and partners with medical school and hospital leaders to implement institutional and organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.