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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2015, Article ID 386951, 16 pages
Research Article

Preliminary Efficacy of Adapted Responsive Teaching for Infants at Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Community Sample

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7122, USA

Received 29 August 2014; Accepted 7 December 2014

Academic Editor: Herbert Roeyers

Copyright © 2015 Grace T. Baranek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examined the (a) feasibility of enrolling 12-month-olds at risk of ASD from a community sample into a randomized controlled trial, (b) subsequent utilization of community services, and (c) potential of a novel parent-mediated intervention to improve outcomes. The First Year Inventory was used to screen and recruit 12-month-old infants at risk of ASD to compare the effects of 6–9 months of Adapted Responsive Teaching (ART) versus referral to early intervention and monitoring (REIM). Eighteen families were followed for ~20 months. Assessments were conducted before randomization, after treatment, and at 6-month follow-up. Utilization of community services was highest for the REIM group. ART significantly outperformed REIM on parent-reported and observed measures of child receptive language with good linear model fit. Multiphase growth models had better fit for more variables, showing the greatest effects in the active treatment phase, where ART outperformed REIM on parental interactive style (less directive), child sensory responsiveness (less hyporesponsive), and adaptive behavior (increased communication and socialization). This study demonstrates the promise of a parent-mediated intervention for improving developmental outcomes for infants at risk of ASD in a community sample and highlights the utility of earlier identification for access to community services earlier than standard practice.