You are here
Educating Parents: Behavioral Intervention in Autism
Phone: (781) 642-0023
Email: RICHARD FLEMING@UMASSMED.EDU
Phone: (781) 893-9436
Type: Nonprofit College or University
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objective of this project is to develop a six-module computer-based course to educate parents of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the nature, purpose and procedures of behavioral intervention (BI). BI is a consensus "best practice" scientific methodology for teaching critical developmental skills and preventing/treating maladaptive behavior in ASD. BI should be implemented early and intensively by service providers to maximize a critical window for early development. Parents of children with ASD need a practical, efficient means of education in BI in order to interact early and effectively with medical, psychological and educational professionals as services are arranged. While existing courses offer advanced training, they do not meet parents' immediate educational needs as consumers. Texts, web materials and workshops do not offer important pedagogical features possible with computer-based instruction. This Phase I STTR proposal seeks to determine the scientific/technical merit and feasibility of developing a six-module course in BI. Specific aims are to: 1) develop a prototype first module; 2) conduct a formative evaluation of this module with a group of parents of young children with ASD, to address content presentation, pedagogy and technical usability characteristics; 3) conduct a summative evaluation of the revised module to assess learning with a new group of parents; 4) develop an instructional design manual to guide product development of subsequent modules in Phase II; and 5) develop an agenda for research and development in Phase II. Eight (8) parents will participate in the formative evaluation (Aim #2), four with experience in BI and four without. Participants will complete a sample of course activities, generating individual performance data, and then participate in a focus group to provide feedback on their subjective experiences. Twenty (20) parents with young children with ASD, but no experience in BI, will participate in the summative evaluation (Aim # 3). Learning outcomes will be assessed via a statistical comparison of pre- and post-test performance.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *