Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #207
Innovations in Parent Training for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Reaching New Populations and Skills
Sunday, May 27, 2018
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom H
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sarah Grace Hansen (Georgia State University)
Discussant: Rachel Seaman (Emory University)

A large and growing body of literature is available on effective interventions to address the core deficits of autism spectrum disorder and related comorbidities (i.e., challenging behavior). For young children with autism, however, it becomes important to target these behaviors through the training of natural change agents like parents to implement these supports. Parent training on strategies to improve social communication and decrease challenging behavior is of particular interest to increase overall family quality of life. This symposium will present a series of studies using innovative methodologies to train parents on core deficits and co-morbidities of autism spectrum disorder, including parents who may typically be at risk of missing out on critical services. This symposium will include results of a study that trained parents to complete brief functional analyses to better understand challenging behavior taking place at home, a parent training on increasing parent child interactions for Hispanic parents of children with autism, a home-based parent training for early social communication skills for young children with autism, and a parent training delivered via telehealth for families in rural settings. Implications for overcoming barriers to parent training and tailoring parent training practices to unique populations will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): culturally responsive, parent training, social communication, Telehealth

Parent-Implemented Brief Functional Analysis in the Home

STEPHANIE GEROW (Baylor University), Gabriela Juanita Rivera (Baylor University), Abby Hodges (Baylor University), Supriya Radhakrishnan (Baylor University)

Children often engage in different patterns of challenging behavior with their parents as compared to professionals. For this reason, it is important to include parents in the assessment of challenging behavior if the intended intervention agent is the parent. The purpose of the present study was to assess the accuracy and feasibility of a parent-implemented brief functional analysis in the home setting. A parent-implemented brief functional analysis, using a brief reversal design, was implemented with each participant. Following the functional analysis, the experimenters conducted a treatment evaluation utilizing an alternating treatment design. The conditions in the alternating treatment design were functional communication training and baseline. Results from the first participant indicate that the brief functional analysis led to the development of an effective function-based intervention. In addition, the brief functional analysis required fewer than 90 minutes and the parent rated the brief functional analysis as socially valid. Data collection is ongoing and we plan to conduct the procedures with at least two more parent-child dyads, for a total of three parent-child dyads. We anticipate that data collection will be complete in February 2018.


Initial Results From a Brief Telehealth Parent Training Package: Feasibility of the Program, Impact on Parent Knowledge, and Reported Parent Stressors

LESLIE NEELY (University of Texas at San Antonio), Sarah Grace Hansen (Georgia State University), Amarie Carnett (University of North Texas), Chelsea Hardt (University of Texas at San Antonio)

The field of telehealth has emerged as a potential means of disseminating applied behavior analytic services to rural communities and underserved areas. The purpose of this project was to provide parent-directed treatment for individuals with autism spectrum disorder with supervision and training provided by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst—Doctoral Level via telehealth. The two-year project aims to train 550 parents of children with autism in ABA techniques to address a priority problem for their family. The project is now in the second year and initial data collected regarding the feasibility and usability of the program, program impacts on parent knowledge of targeted skill, and reported parental stressors will be presented. Preliminary results indicate statistically significant change in parent knowledge of targeted skills following training (p < .001). There were also significant correlations between moderators like education level and family size with both pre-test and post-test scores (p < 0.05). Implications for practice and future research will be discussed.


Teaching Hispanic Parents of Children With Autism to Deliver a Responsive Interaction Communication Intervention

RUSSELL LANG (Texas State University-San Marcos), Katherine Ledbetter-Cho (Texas State University), Caitlin Murphy (Texas State University)

Parental involvement in early behavioral intervention for children with autism has been shown to improve outcomes; however, there is limited research involving Hispanic parents. We taught six Hispanic mothers to provide a child-directed naturalistic behavioral intervention package that emphasized responsive interaction with their young children with autism. A concurrent multiple baseline across parent-child dyads and standardized measures of child language outcomes were used to evaluate parents' treatment fidelity and children's response to intervention. Social validity data were also collected. Results suggest parents acquired the intervention skills and that children's verbal utterance frequency and mean length of utterance improved. Although experimental control was evidenced in the multiple baseline design, there was no statistically significant difference in the standardized assessments of expressive and receptive language in the children. Social validity data suggested the training program and intervention procedures were acceptable, effective, and efficient. Child outcomes were rated as meaningful improvements. The importance of replication and extension with understudied populations is discussed with emphasis on social validity measures. Limitations to the current study are noted and addressed in suggestions for future research.


Parent-Implemented Early Social Communication Skill Intervention

BUKET ERTURK (University of Oregon), Sarah Grace Hansen (Georgia State University), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon), Megan G. Kunze (University of Oregon)

Numerous developmental difficulties are noted to differentiate young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from typically developing children and these developmental disabilities center on social and communication skills. These skills include but are not limited to imitation skills, manding, and joint attention. In the current study, we used a multiple baseline design across these three behaviors for two child-parent dyads to investigate the effectiveness and generalization of a parent-implemented social-communication intervention. Parents received training on the use of least-to-most prompting strategies as well as general strategies and coaching until they reached the criterion for treatment fidelity. Results indicated that parents' fidelity of implementation increased following parent training and coaching. In addition, there was an increase in child participants' imitation, manding, and response to joint attention skills. Both parents and children were able to generalize the increased skills to novel stimuli. The results of the study are discussed regarding the impact of parent behaviors on generalization and maintenance of child behaviors. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.




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