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Effectiveness of the SCERTS Model for autism (Yi et al., 2022)

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posted on 30.06.2022, 22:10 authored by Juhee YiJuhee Yi, Whasoo Kim, Jiwoo Lee

Purpose: This systematic review aimed to examine the effectiveness of the Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support (SCERTS) Model–based interventions in supporting developmental skills of children who were diagnosed with or at increased likelihood of autism.

Method: We searched six electronic databases, in addition to Google Scholar and the reference lists, using terms related to SCERTS, the Early Social Interaction project, and autism spectrum disorder. Of the 70 articles, six published between 2014 and 2021 (a total of 455 children) were eligible for inclusion and were analyzed in terms of study design, type of publication, participant characteristics, intervention procedures, and major findings.

Results: Most reviewed studies that were relatively less vulnerable to the given risk of bias suggested that SCERTS may be an effective approach for promoting children’s social communication skills, and implementers were able to achieve an adequate level of intervention fidelity through training. Further implications could not be drawn concerning children’s language, reduction in restricted repetitive behaviors, emotional regulation, adaptive behavior, play, cognitive skills, academic competence, and motor skills due to contradicting findings within limited evidence.

Conclusions: Although SCERTS is a promising intervention with emerging evidence, more methodologically rigorous studies are needed to progress the research base of SCERTS and draw firm conclusions about its effectiveness in improving a wide range of skills for children and implementers. Several areas for future research are discussed.


Supplemental Material S1. Critical appraisal of included studies of SCERTS using quality indicators.


Yi, J., Kim, W., & Lee, J. (2022). Effectiveness of the SCERTS Model–based interventions for autistic children: A systematic review. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_JSLHR-21-00518

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