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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #339
CE Offered: BACB
International Symposium - Parent Support Systems
Monday, May 26, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: CSE/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Criss Wilhite (California State University, Fresno)
CE Instructor: Criss Wilhite, None

Three bodies of research regarding improving parent-child interactions, teaching parenting skills to parents of children with disabilities and helping parents cope with the stress of parenting children with disabilities are presented. The focus of each is to improve parent skills personally, interpersonally, and/or in terms of their interactions with their children.

Evidence-Based Support Systems for Parents of Children with ASD in Australia.
VICKI BITSIKA (Bond University), Christopher F. Sharpley (University of New England)
Abstract: Data collected from two surveys of parents of children with ASD across two Australian states showed elevated levels of anxiety and depression compared to the community norm and parents of children with an intellectual or physical impairment. In addition, a high percentage of parents of children with ASD stated that they were “stretched beyond their ability to cope” with their child’s behavioral difficulties several times per month. These data challenge the efficacy of skills-only parent training because of the difficulty parents reported in implementing their behavior management skills when under duress. In response to this mismatch between parents’ knowledge-base and their implementation of behavioral management skills, two group interventions were conducted with samples of these parents. The first group intervention focused upon generalized behavioral support techniques requested by parents. Results showed within-session reductions of anxiety and depression, plus an increase in confidence in applying behavior management strategies. The second group intervention taught parents a range of targeted behaviorally-based stress management procedures. Reductions in parental anxiety and depression were again found, plus increased effectiveness in managing difficult behavior and decreased dependence upon others’ advice.
Dancing with My Baby: Parent Training for Toddlers with ASD.
SHAHLA S. ALA'I-ROSALES (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Earlier detection means the possibility of earlier intervention for very young children with autism and their families. This presentation will provide a data-based description of The Family Connections Project (FCP). The mission of FCP is to enhance the quality of relationships between toddlers with autism and their families. Participants in FCP set goals, choose specific skills to teach their toddlers, learn a series of teaching interaction strategies (represented by the acronym DANCE) and evaluate their own and their child's progress. In addition to acquisition of specific intervention targets, a number of parent and child collateral effects have been observed. The data and the program are discussed in the context of developmental cusps, ecological and cultural validity, and the importance and responsibility of "first contact" early intervention services.
Parenting Programs at Fresno State.
CRISS WILHITE (California State University, Fresno), David J. Hebert (California State University, Fresno), Jason Alan Marshall (California State University, Fresno), Katharine Woods (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Three parent-training projects, outgrowths of the initial Positive Parenting for Parents of Children with Disabilities, will be reviewed. Parenting Children with Autism was designed to supplement previous parent training with practice in discrete trails, errorless learning, and other techniques used in the Fresno State Autism Center. Parenting Children with Autism-Spanish Language is geared toward immigrant families who have in-home programs, and Stress Management for Parents of Children with Autism is a systematic replication of the work of Bitsika and Sharpley. A review of outcome data for the projects and descriptions of how to expand and adapt basic behavior-analytic parenting classes are presented.



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