As many as 50% of children with autism exhibit disruptive behaviors (DBs) including tantrums, aggression, and noncompliance (Hartley, Sikora & McCoy, 2008; Kaat & Lecavalier, 2013). DBs interfere with adaptive functioning, increase social isolation, reduce family quality of life and can have significant long-term negative consequences for children with autism and their families (Scahill et al., 2012; Allik et al., 2006; Simonoff et al., 2008). Parent-mediated interventions (PMIs) engage parents as change-agents in the therapeutic process (Bearss, Burrell, Stewart, Scahill, 2015; Pickles et al., 2016) and can also be delivered in a group format (Burrell et al., 2020), which allows for reaching more families and may have secondary psychological benefits for participating parents (Barlow et al., 2012). Unfortunately, evidence-based interventions for children with autism are rarely incorporated into community practice, with a significant gap between efficacy trial outcomes and those noted in community settings (Nahmias et al., 2019). In this presentation I will share a research project that has been implemented during the past 4 years at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In this research the efficacy of the The Research Units in Behavioral Intervention (RUBI) was examined protocol as delivered in a community-implemented format for groups of Jewish and Arab families in Israel. Due to t he outbreak of The outbreak of COVID-19 that occurred during our pilot study, we adjusted the delivery of the protocol and shifted from face-to-face (FTC) to an online format (OF).
Collaboration in the practice of ABA is often focused on collaboration among professionals who provide services to a specific client. For example, a BCBA and a Speech pathologist may work together to develop and implement interventions to support language acquisition goals. In this presentation, a broader university-community collaborative approach will be described as a model for creating positive impacts on a variety of community support services to improve availability and , quality of services and supports for individuals with autism and their families on a much broader scale. Initiatives at Utah Valley University's Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism and M Ed in ABA program will serve as examples of the utilization of stakeholder input to drive ABA-based training initiatives resulting in improvements in focused service availability, public school programs, community awareness, safety, and healthcare for autistic individuals. Collaboration at this level requires ongoing feedback from community stakeholders to identify service gaps, and resources to support community-level change. This broader conceptualization of collaboration has the potential to positively impact entire communities by leveraging the resources and expertise of relevant University departments to address socially significant service issues.