Using an internet-based training program to disseminate naturalistic behavioral techniques to individuals working with young children with autism
Allison L. Wainer, Michigan State University, United States
Michigan State University . Awarded
There is an identified need for the adaptation of training in evidence-based interventions to non-traditional service delivery methods, particularly for individuals working with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Internet-based instructional formats have been shown to be an effective means of dissemination of intervention training for various clinical populations. As such, an internet-delivered intervention training program was created to introduce therapists and parents to reciprocal imitation training, a naturalistic behavioral intervention that has been shown to increase imitation on objects and gestures in young children with autism. Two separate multiple-baseline design studies were conducted to assess the impact of this internet-based training program on changes in therapist (study 1) and parent (study 2) knowledge and behavior, and changes in child behavior. Additionally, data examining the acceptability of the program were collected. Therapists and parents improved their knowledge and use of the intervention strategies in response to the internet-based training program. However, some individuals required additional live coaching in order to reach fidelity of implementation. The children improved their rates of imitation, but changes in rates of child supported joint attention were not observed. Results from this study suggest that an internet-delivered training program may be an effective method for disseminating evidence-based practices to individuals working with children with ASD.
Wainer, A.L. Using an internet-based training program to disseminate naturalistic behavioral techniques to individuals working with young children with autism. Master's thesis, Michigan State University.
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