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Educating Parents: Behavioral Intervention in Autism

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R42HD055021-02A2
Agency Tracking Number: HD055021
Amount: $480,223.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2007
Award Year: 2007
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (781) 642-0023
Business Contact
Phone: (781) 893-9436
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This STTR Phase II application seeks funds to support the continued development of a successful Phase I project. Phase I proposed the development and evaluation of the first in an eventual six-module computer-based course entitled "Behavioral Intervention for Parents (BIP)." As the title implies, the course will be designed to educate parents of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the nature, purpose and procedures of behavioral intervention (BI). The first module, Understanding Behavioral Intervention in Autism, was completed during Phase I. It was developed following a thorough needs analysis that included three parent focus groups. Parents who participated in the subsequent field evaluation acquired critical content knowledge (41% mean improvement from pre- to post-test). They also were highly satisfied with the content and online presentation; the mean overall satisfaction rating on a Likert-type survey (1=unsatisfied, 3=moderately satisfied, 5=extremely satisfied) was 4.1. Participant comments further specified sources of satisfaction and suggestions for improvement in future modules. BI remains a consensus "best practice" science-based teaching methodology for establishing critical developmental skills and preventing/treating maladaptive behavior in ASD (National Research Council, 2001). Parents of children with ASD need to interact early and effectively with medical, psychological and educational professionals as BI and other services are considered and arranged. Our Phase I field-evaluation data support the results and conclusions of other projects we have conducted in the area of online learning, and indicate parents' immediate educational needs as consumers can be met with an appropriately designed and engaging web-based product. The purpose of this Phase II proposal is to complete development of five additional online modules to support efficient learning by a more diverse population of parents of children with ASD in the areas of: 1) data and accountability in BI; 2) child skill development through BI; 3) causes, assessment and positive intervention for maladaptive behavior; 4) BI and the educational system; and 5) selecting qualified BI personnel. A prominent feature of the Phase II design will be the incorporation of interactive video demonstrations of BI strategies. The proposed project and the resulting product will directly benefit individuals with autism. By teaching the fundamentals of behavioral intervention to parents of children with autism, they will be better informed about selecting professional-level behavioral intervention, and better able to aid in such intervention directly. Appropriate behavioral intervention enhances learning and behavior change, and ultimately can lead to greater the opportunities for independent living for individuals with autism.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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