Training paraprofessionals of students with autism to implement Pivotal Response Treatment using a video feedback training package
Suzanne Elaine Robinson, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
University of California, Santa Barbara . Awarded
Individuals with autism experience significant deficits in the areas of communication, socialization, and restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior. Without specialized treatment, the long-term outcomes for these individuals are reportedly bleak. Fortunately, researchers have developed effective intervention approaches, such as Pivotal Response Treatment, that have been shown to produce dramatic gains across developmental domains. Still, there remains a research-to-practice gap as most of these evidence-based practices are conducted by highly trained and supervised clinicians in home and clinic settings. Given that students with autism spend the majority of their days in the school setting, largely supported by paraprofessionals, it seems particularly important that the school staff receive adequate training to implement these treatments. Unfortunately, most paraprofessionals begin and continue their work with little to no training. In-service workshops, a common training model provided by school districts, are quite ineffective in producing sustained behavior change, thus researchers are calling for effective training models. The purpose of this study is to empirically examine the effectiveness and efficiency of a training package consisting of modeling and video-based feedback as a means of training paraprofessionals to implement PRT in the inclusive school setting. Using a multiple baseline across participants design, paraprofessional and student variables are assessed. The findings indicate that the training package was effective and efficient in improving paraprofessional fidelity of implementation, paraprofessional levels of involvement, and the social-communication target behaviors of the students with autism. Additionally, the paraprofessionals reported high satisfaction with the training, and the affect of the students with autism either maintained or improved as a result of the paraprofessional training.
Robinson, S.E. Training paraprofessionals of students with autism to implement Pivotal Response Treatment using a video feedback training package. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Santa Barbara.
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