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Treatment Planning for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Individualized, Problem-Solving Approach

ISBN: 978-0-470-88223-8
254 pages
December 2012
Treatment Planning for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Individualized, Problem-Solving Approach (0470882239) cover image


A new way of thinking about treatment planning to support children with autism spectrum disorders

Grounded in solid theory, Treatment Planning for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Individualized, Problem-Solving Approachhelps educators and therapists who work with children with autism spectrum disorders make sense of this confusing, often conflicting, and rapidly evolving clinical and research treatment landscape.

Rooted in evidence-based practices, Chedd and Levine provide a 7-step dynamic treatment planning process. The book shows how a variety of current interventions and treatments can be incorporated into this process and includes applications of different approaches for tackling different problems. The nine illustrative case vignettes cover a wide variety of ages, developmental challenges, learning and social profiles, and school and family circumstances.

With a firm commitment to and focus on the child’s best interests as well as family needs and preferences, Treatment Planning for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders offers professionals new possibilities for enhancing the quality of life for children with ASDs.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

About the Authors xvii

1 Introduction: Looking at Treatment Planning Through a Different Lens 1

Defining Best Practices 2

Media Overload 3

A New Way of Thinking about Autism Treatment 4

Core Deficits of Autism 5

How the Book is Organized 5

Case Studies 8

About the Appendices 10

2 What is Evidence Based Practice? 11

What is So Important About EBP? 12

Common Errors in Evaluating Treatments 12

Emotions Versus Logic 14

How Can Treatments be Evaluated? 16

History of Evidence Based Practice in Psychology 17

Brief History of EBP and Autism 18

Evolution and Expansion of EBP 20

EBP as it Pertains to Autism 22

The Evolution of Treatment Models and Terminology 24

Client Voice in What to Treat and How to Treat 27

What is Important to Study? What is Important to Treat? 32

The Role Context in Treatment Selection 34

Positive and Negative Policy Implications of uses of EBP in Autism Treatments 35

Conclusions and Recommendations 37

3 The Individualized, Problem-Solving Treatment Process 39

Treatment Process 39

4 Jamal: A Previously Happy Preschooler Disengages 71

5 Katherine: A Nine Year Old Learns to Cope with Hew Own Explosive Episodes 85

6 Brandon: Developmental Delays and OCD present a Big Challenge for a Non-verbal Preschooler 103

7 Rafael: A Happy, Well-Behaved 6-Year-Old Becomes Increasingly Rigid 119

8 Alex: Extreme Mood Dysregulation Interferes with School and Home Functioning for a Fourth Grader 139

9 Emily: A Passive Teenager Begins to Learn Self-Help Skills 157

10 Chen: A Teenager With Asperger’s Hits Bottom, But With Help and Determination, Heads for College 173

11 Michael: A 10-Year-Old Whose Behaviors Are Becoming More Disruptive and Aggressive 189

12 Jake: A 5-Year-Old Who Has Responded Well to Floortime™ 207

Afterword 215

Appendix: Autism Treatment Approaches 221

References 229

Author Index 239

Subject Index 243

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Author Information

Naomi Chedd, LMHC, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and an Educational Consultant in private practice.  She specializes in the behavioral, social/emotional, and mental health issues related to children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities.

Karen Levine, PhD is a Licensed Psychologist and Instructor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  She was co-founder and co-director of Boston Children’s Hospital's former Center for Autism and Related Disorders Clinic and worked in the field of developmental disabilities for twenty-five years. She is the 2012 recipient of thefirst Lesley University Austim Hero Award.

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Praise for Treatment Planning for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Individualized, Problem-Solving Approach

"In the complex and challenging world of Autism Spectrum Disorders, this book offers a welcome, needed and thoroughly useful approach to planning treatment, whatever the setting, resources or problems. Chedd and Levine have managed to create a guide for educators, therapists and parents that is all at once practical and relevant, insightful and thought-provoking."
Richard Bromfield, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Author, Embracing Asperger's

"After introducing best practices for intervention in autism, Chedd and Levine present vivid case studies that bring alive the concept of matching methodologies and techniques to the widely diverse needs of individuals on the autism spectrum. My highest recommendation for anyone wishing to learn more about supporting those with autism."
Stephen M. Shore, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Special Education, Adelphi University; Internationally renowned author, consultant, and presenter on issues related to autism, Individual on the autism spectrum

"Chedd and Levine make clear the foundations of Evidence Based Practice: vetting relevant research and using clinical judgment and experience to offer clients and families a range of options so that they can choose based on their own culture, values and individual needs in a true process of informed consent. In case examples Chedd and Levine demonstrate critical aspects of comprehensive assessment and the central organizing principle of ongoing reflective efforts to adjust the course of intervention. This book drives forward the effort to offer families rational choices and responsive intervention for children with Evidence Based Practices for Autism Spectrum Disorders."
Joshua D. Feder, M.D., Director of Research, Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders Graduate School

"Service providers and parents of children with ASD are often overwhelmed and greatly stressed by the explosion of "treatments" for autism, and the marketing and claims of effectiveness of specific approaches. Now that declarations such as 'Only this approach works for children with ASD' are no longer considered credible, there is an urgent need to support parents and professionals with a systematic process to guide individualized treatment planning based on evidence-based practice. Levine and Chedd have taken a huge step in meeting this need in this thought-provoking book that is both rooted in years of clinical experience and in-depth knowledge of the most current research, but exceptionally practical with intriguing case vignettes. A timely and much needed resource."
Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP , Director, Childhood Communication Services, Adjunct Professor; Center for the Study of Human Development, Brown University; Co-Author of The SCERTS Model

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