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; Online; 2020

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #260
CE Offered: BACB
Short Term Parent Training Programs for Families Impacted by Autism: Community Based Practice
Sunday, May 24, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Area: AUT/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
CE Instructor: Amy Kenzer, Ph.D.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and repetitive behaviors [American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2013], and rates of ASD have risen exponentially in recent years currently impacting approximately 1 out of 59 children in the United States [Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2018]. Several behavior analytic interventions have been established as effective with a focus on early delivery and high intensity for ameliorating symptoms of ASD and increasing meaningful skills. Even with this growth in practice, there remains inadequate access to services for families across the country. This symposium will include three presentations focused on development and implementation of parent training models to address: 1) lag between diagnosis and start of intervention, 2) service options for families living in remote and rural areas and/or with school-age children, and 3) evaluating the effect of naturalistic parent-mediated interventions. Together, results indicate that 1) parents were successful at implementing naturalistic interventions, 2) interventions met parent expectations, 3) parents reported positive response to intervention and format, and 4) children demonstrated positive gains during parent participation in the programs. Results from these models continue to inform research and community-based practice to address the needs of the community.

Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: Describe Pivotal Response Treatment strategies taught to parents to target child motivation. Describe different training formats and components to address parent outcomes. Describe measurement used to capture parent acquisition of intervention, self-efficacy, and response to intervention format and coaching.
Parent Training in Pivotal Response Treatment to Support Parent and Child After Receiving an Autism Diagnosis
BRITTANI NICHOLE HARRIS (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center ), Beatriz Orr (Four Corners Association for Behavior Analysis; Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center ), Alexis N. Boglio (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Abstract: Parents who receive a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can experience difficulties in accessing services for their child which may lead to a delay in treatment (Coolican, Smith, & Bryson, 2010). Participation in a brief parent training program in Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) can be an immediate, cost-effective solution for families waiting for comprehensive treatment or with limited access to resources (Coolican et al., 2010). In this current study, a six-week program was developed to provide psychoeducation and parent-mediated intervention (PMI) for the core symptoms for parents with young children who were recently diagnosed with ASD or classified as at-risk. Parents participated in psychoeducation sessions using a web-based format and completed clinic-based coaching sessions focused on PMI. Participants in this study include 66 parent-child dyads, and positive effects in parent knowledge, parent implementation, and child language were observed. Parent participants showed increases in their knowledge scores with an average increase of 37% and in their implementation of PRT techniques with an average increase of 27%. Results for this study are promising and consistent with previous research, demonstrating that participation in brief parent training programs can effectively increase parent knowledge and fidelity of implementation of PRT to support their child after receiving an autism diagnosis.

Increasing Access to Services for Families Living in Remote and Rural Communities Through Parent-Mediated Intervention

Alexis Boglio (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center ), Sienna VanGelder (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center ), HALEY ROSE (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)

Parent-mediated interventions can lead to significant gains in social, communicative, and adaptive skills for children with autism spectrum disorder (Meadan et al., 2009). Although there is consensus about the benefits of evidence-based parent-delivered intervention, many barriers exist for families seeking training on effective teaching practices. Geographical distance from treatment centers and the high cost of high-quality services are two variables that often contribute to inequity in behavior analytic treatment. The current investigation sought to examine the impact of a short-term intensive parent training program on parent fidelity of implementation of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) and child communication. Twenty-four families living in remote or rural communities in Arizona participated in 25 hours of in-vivo parent coaching through a grant-funded, clinic-based program. Across all participants, the average fidelity score increased from 30% at baseline to 82% post-training and child responsivity increased from 22% to 67%. Additionally, families rated the program favorably and reported comfort using the strategies in their home environment. Results indicate that the one-week intensive program may offer a solution in addressing ongoing disparities in autism treatment.


A Brief Parent Training Program for Parents of School-Aged Students

MEGAN MANN (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center ), Sienna VanGelder (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center ), Alexis N. Boglio (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)

Brief parent education programs for parents of young children has shown to be effective at increasing parent use of teaching strategies and having positive effects on child social communication skills (Vismara, Colombi, Rogers, 2009). However, few studies have examined the impact of parent-education models for parents with school-aged children. In this study we utilized the same format (Rogers et al., 2012) and evaluated the impact on parent delivery of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) with school-aged children. This study reviewed the outcome data of the first four parent-child dyads to participate in the pilot and suggests that parents of school-age children may benefit from a short-term low-intensity model similarly to parents of young children. Following participation all participants agreed that they felt comfortable implementing the motivational procedures of pivotal response treatment. In addition, all parent-child dyads demonstrated gains in verbal responsivity and achieved an acceptable level of fidelity. Results suggested a 12-week education model can be an effective modality to increase fidelity of implementation of pivotal response treatment for caregivers of school-aged children.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh