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Effects of Combining Medication and Pivotal Response Treatment on Aberrant Behavior in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Institute for Cognitive Science Studies (ICSS), 16516-56717 Tehran, Iran
Pediatric Developmental Disorder Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, 65178-38695 Hamadan, Iran
Department of Clinical Psychology, Kharazmi University, 37551-31979 Tehran, Iran
Department of Educational Psychology, Kharazmi University, 37551-31979 Tehran, Iran
Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University GC, 19839-69411 Tehran, Iran
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2018, 5(2), 19;
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Child Neurology)
PDF [201 KB, uploaded 30 January 2018]


Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of combined risperidone (RIS) and pivotal response treatment (PRT) on children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A total of 34 children diagnosed with ASD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-V) (mean age of 12.36 years) were randomly assigned to either of two groups; the first group (n = 17) received combined PRT–RIS while the second group (n = 17) received RIS only. Behavioral problems were evaluated with the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), whereas global improvement (GI) was measured with the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI). Assessment of ABC was performed before intervention, after intervention (12 weeks), and following 3 months of the intervention (follow-up). Total ABC scores were seen to decrease in both groups after 3 months, as compared with the scores prior to the interventions. Also, in both groups, mean scores of behavioral problems after the intervention were not significantly different from those prior to the intervention, in all subscales but the inappropriate speech (p < 0.001). However, both groups showed significant differences in mean scores of ABC subscales in both of the post-intervention evaluation stages. It was concluded that the combination of behavioral and drug interventions can further improve behavioral problems, ultimately improving patient’s communication and social skills. View Full-Text
Keywords: medication; behavioral therapy; autism spectrum disorder medication; behavioral therapy; autism spectrum disorder
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Rezaei, M.; Moradi, A.; Tehrani-Doost, M.; Hassanabadi, H.; Khosroabadi, R. Effects of Combining Medication and Pivotal Response Treatment on Aberrant Behavior in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Children 2018, 5, 19.

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