Treatment and Intervention Services

Mother and Son | Duke Autism

We offer therapeutic services in a variety of formats, including individual, parent, and group treatment and intervention. Our clinicians work with children from infancy through early adulthood, as well as with parents, families, school personnel, and other caregivers. The primary goal of treatment is to nurture an individual’s ability to experience success in home, school, and community contexts, and to support the development of adaptive skills, coping resources, social skills, and behavioral regulation abilities. In addition, clinicians work with parents, families, teachers, and other caregivers to assist and support their efforts to achieve the goals of treatment. The type of care required and the level of intervention provided will vary based on the needs of each individual and his or her family. A list of Duke autism care providers can be found here

Coaching for parents of infants and young children is based on empirically-supported methods, such as the Early Start Denver Model, applied behavior analysis, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Parents are coached to use strategies that will facilitate learning, social engagement, language, and toy play skills. For older children, individual therapy approaches may be used to assist individuals in addressing different goals, such as improving self-regulation abilities, communication strategies, problem-solving skills, self-esteem, and social and adaptive behavior skills. If an individual is experiencing significant anxiety or depression, a cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) approach may be used to address those difficulties. Other goals of individual therapy may include bolstering organizational and study skills. For some children, more intensive interventions designed to address behavioral challenges may be part of a treatment (e.g., functional behavior analysis). If medication treatment is a part of the care plan, the behavioral health provider will work closely with a psychiatrist or other physician to ensure coordinated care. 

Intervention modalities include:

  • Parent coaching
  • Infant/toddler intervention
  • Early Start Denver Model intervention
  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Social skills training
  • Medications

Please note that the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development may have opportunities for intervention services at no cost as part of an ongoing research study. If you would like to learn more about possible participation in research, visit our research page.