Whitney Ence

Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States

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Publications (6)7.91 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A significant proportion of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are referred to mental health centers due to the presence of challenging behaviors. Because challenging behaviors in children and adolescents with ASD often result from underlying social and communication difficulties and comorbid anxiety, traditional caregiver-mediated behavior intervention techniques developed for children with disruptive behavior disorders may need to be adapted for this population. Behavioral interventions that target communication skills, social skills, anxiety, and sensory responsiveness in children with ASD may be needed. Notably, while best practice necessitates the involvement of caregivers in treating children and adolescents with ASD, few randomized control studies have examined the effectiveness of caregiver-implemented interventions in reducing challenging behaviors. This review summarizes the current literature with regard to caregiver-mediated behavioral interventions for children with ASD, and suggests areas for intervention development and research.
    Dialogues in clinical neuroscience. 06/2013; 15(2):225-33.
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    ABSTRACT: Participation of parents of children with autism is commonplace in most comprehensive intervention programs, yet, there is limited research relating to the best practices in this area. This article provides an overview of parent education programs for young children with autism and details data-driven procedures which are associated with improved parent and child outcomes. In addition, we provide a troubleshooting guide based on the literature for professionals regarding a variety of complex issues which may arise during parent education.
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 02/2011; 42(6):1218-27. · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • Developmental neurorehabilitation 02/2010; 13(1):1-2.
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    ABSTRACT: Collective traumas can negatively affect large numbers of people who ostensibly did not experience events directly, making it particularly important to identify which people are most vulnerable to developing mental and physical health problems as a result of such events. It is commonly believed that successful coping with a traumatic event requires expressing one's thoughts and feelings about the experience, suggesting that people who choose not to do so would be at high risk for poor adjustment. To test this idea in the context of collective trauma, 2,138 members of a nationally representative Web-enabled survey panel were given the opportunity to express their reactions to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on that day and those following. Follow-up surveys assessing mental and physical health outcomes were completed over the next 2 years. Contrary to common belief, participants who chose not to express any initial reaction reported better outcomes over time than did those who expressed an initial reaction. Among those who chose to express their immediate reactions, longer responses predicted worse outcomes over time. Implications for myths of coping, posttrauma interventions, and psychology in the media are discussed.
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 09/2008; 76(4):657-67. · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    Basic and Applied Social Psychology - BASIC APPL SOC PSYCHOL. 01/2006; 28(4):291-301.
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    ABSTRACT: Studies involving physical exercise and individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were reviewed. Systematic search procedures identified 18 studies meeting predetermined inclusion criteria. These studies were evaluated in terms of: (a) participant characteristics, (b) type of exercise, (c) procedures used to increase exercise, (d) outcomes, and (e) research methodology. Across the corpus of studies, exercise was implemented with 64 participants with ASD aged 3–41 years. A variety of exercise activities were employed (e.g., jogging, weight training, bike riding). Following the exercise interventions decreases in stereotypy, aggression, off-task behavior and elopement were reported. Fatigue was not likely the cause of decreases in maladaptive behavior because on-task behavior, academic responding, and appropriate motor behavior (e.g., playing catch) increased following physical exercise. Results suggest that programs for individuals with ASD may benefit from including components designed to incorporate regular and specific types of physical activity. Areas in need of further research are discussed.
    Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.