An online training program for parents of children with autism
Mary Joy Kolb, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, United States
University of Maryland, Baltimore County . Awarded
Parents of children with autism sometimes experiment with controversial treatments in the hopes of ameliorating their children’s autistic characteristics. When parents do seek training on empirically-based treatments, training programs are typically held outside the home. Some parents are unable to access to traditional parent training programs because of cost, transportation, and child-care issues associated with these training programs. The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of an online training program to teach empirically-based interventions to parents of children with autism in the home environment. The online program was designed to teach parents skills to decrease problem behaviors exhibited by their children with autism. The intervention package provided training on priming techniques, extinction, differential reinforcement, visual supports, and systematic instruction to reduce problem behavior. Three parents of children with autism participated in this study. The participants implemented the strategies learned from the training website with the support of web-based consultations from the investigator. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants indicated the parents learned to correctly implement the behavioral intervention in the home environment. In addition, the children exhibited substantial decreases in disruptive behavior when the parents consistently implemented the intervention components. These results suggest online training programs may provide useful and cost efficient alternatives to traditional parent-training programs.
Kolb, M.J. An online training program for parents of children with autism. Ph.D. thesis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
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