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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #66
CE Offered: BACB
Overcoming Barriers to Parent Training
Saturday, May 23, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 1, Salon H
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Christopher Miyake (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
CE Instructor: Christopher Miyake, M.Ed.

Parent training can have many benefits for the families of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), most notably in improving parent-child interactions. Furthermore, collaboration with parents is often used to generalize gains made during applied behavior analysis (ABA) sessions. In addition to aiding the child, parent training can also improve parental well-being. Given the potential benefits, strategies to increase parent involvement in their child’s ABA program are critical. Involving parents in formal parent training is an important method in gaining this involvement; however, this can be challenging in some situations. Addressing and analyzing the sources of these obstacles are valuable in increasing the amount and quality of parent training received by families. In the first talk, a literature review on the barriers to implementing parent training will be presented. Following this discussion, data will be shared on the effects of a parent training program on parents’ use of strategies and parental well-being. Lastly, strategies for training behavior analysts to implement parent training will be discussed. Across the talks, emphasis will be placed on practical strategies that practitioners can implement to improve delivery of parent training.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): BST, Naturalistic, Parent Training
A Review of Barriers to Parent Training
(Service Delivery)
CHRISTOPHER MIYAKE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Karen Nohelty (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Abstract: Parent training is a critical component of programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While the intensity, form, and function of parental involvement in ASD intervention varies greatly, research has shown that caregiver participation has many potential benefits. Understanding the factors that increase parent involvement and lessen the barriers to treatment is critical to maximizing outcomes. One potential barrier is a misunderstanding of what is included under the label of parent training as research has shown that one indication of dropping out before the first session was the type of content provided. Another barrier can arise from practitioners not focusing on the relationship building aspects of training such as empathy, warmth, and humor with research pointing to a link between the relationship of clinician and caregiver as a factor in parental compliance or resistance. Other barriers to treatment can be found in studies that have shown a link between elevated levels of depression, anxiety and higher levels of fatigue and greater physical health impairment. This combined with other research showing a link between parental stress and a lack of participation in services points to a need to address these factors if clinicians want to reduce barriers to treatment.
Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of a Naturalistic Parent Training Program
(Applied Research)
ESTHER HONG (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Christopher Miyake (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Nicholas Marks (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract: Parent training is a critical component of treatment programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, treatment gains noted in the research vary greatly. The current study expanded upon past research on the naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention, Project ImPACT, by modifying procedures to increase accessibility to parents (e.g., removing homework) and incorporate collaborative practitioner strategies (e.g., open-ended questions). Families were randomly assigned to the active treatment or the treatment as usual control group. For both groups, twelve weekly sessions (1.5 hours total per week) were implemented for children with ASD (2-8 years old) and their parents. For the active treatment group, each week the clinician reviewed the target skill(s) with the parent during a 1-hour session and then used behavior skills training (BST) to support the parent in demonstrating the target skill(s) with their child during a subsequent 30-minute session. Measures of parent’s use of strategies were scored from a video of interaction with their child at pre- and post-treatment sessions. Additionally, measures of parental adherence to the treatment, self-efficacy, and stress were collected, along with family demographic information. These results provide support for naturalistic parent training strategies and elucidate potential factors in the delivery of parent training.
Using Behavioral Skills Training (BST) to Teach Clinicians to Accurately Implement Naturalistic Parent Training Program
(Applied Research)
KAREN NOHELTY (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract: Parent training is a critical component of programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Especially as new behavior analysts are entering the field at greater rates, strategies to ensure they are sufficiently trained to provide this service can increase quality of services. Additionally, methods of training that can be used when the trainer and trainee are not in the same physical location are especially valuable. In the present study, clinicians with a BCaBA or BCBA, with varying years of experience, were recruited to implement a naturalistic parent training program. Prior to implementation with parents, clinicians were taught the study procedures using behavior skills training (BST) in a role play context via telehealth. In this case study, clinicians did not meet criteria during baseline. After implementation of BST, clinicians achieved criterion in program implementation in a role play setting. During sessions with the parent, clinicians also accurately implemented the program. Identifying procedures that improve training can help behavior analysts when supervising others; additionally, identifying procedures specifically related to implementing parent training can aid in increasing the provision of this valuable service.



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