Feasibility and Initial Efficacy of an Outpatient Comprehensive Psychosocial Treatment for Children with HFASD: An Open-Trial
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This study evaluated the feasibility and initial efficacy of a comprehensive psychosocial outpatient program (MAXout) for children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). The sample consisted of 28 children, ages 7 to 12 years. The 18-week treatment, two 90-minute sessions per week, included instruction and therapeutic activities targeting social/social-communication skills, facial-emotion recognition, non-literal language skills, and interest expansion. A behavioral system was implemented to reduce ASD symptoms and problem behaviors and increase skills acquisition and maintenance. Feasibility was supported via high levels of treatment fidelity and parent, child, and staff satisfaction. Significant post-treatment improvements were found for the children’s non-literal language skills, and parent and staff clinician ratings of targeted social/social-communication skills, broad social skills, ASD symptoms, withdrawn behaviors, problem behaviors, and adaptive social skills. Results suggested that MAXout was feasible and may yield positive outcomes for children with HFASD.