Description: The SCERTS Model intends to enhance social communication between the parent and the child with autism spectrum disorder. Parents or teachers are taught to arrange the environment and create temptations for the child to initiate communication during daily routines.

Research Summary: To date there are no studies with strong experimental designs evaluating whether or not the SCERTS model is an effective, comprehensive intervention. In a preliminary outcome study, Wetherby and Woods (2006) reported an increase in children’s positive affect and frequency of communication, but did not find reliable changes in children’s other communication skills.

Recommendations: Important next steps for research on the SCERTS Model are replications by independent investigators and comparisons against established early intensive behavioral treatment models. Professionals should present SCERTS as untested and encourage families who are considering this intervention to evaluate it carefully.

Selected References:

Prizant, B. M. (2006). The SCERTS Model: a Comprehensive Educational Approach for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Pub.

Selected Scientific Studies:

Wetherby, A. M., & Woods, J. J. (2006). Early Social Interaction Project for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Beginning in the Second Year of Life: A Preliminary Study, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 26, 67-82.

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