Feasibility of Parent Training Via Telepractice for Rural Families of Children with Autism 

Principal Investigator(s):
Cynthia Anderson, Ph.D., BCBA-D & Ryan Martin, Ph.D.
Grant Type:
Applied Research
Funding:
$40,000
Organization:
May Institute 
Randolph, Massachusetts
Year Awarded:
2020
Topics:
Families; Technology

Abstract

Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit challenging behaviors. Research has demonstrated the efficacy of behavioral parent training for reducing the disruptive behavior of children with ASD and reducing caregiver stress. Research to date has focused primarily on implementing parent training in clinical settings, but caregivers often face numerous barriers to accessing these services, especially in rural communities. Research examining the implementation of parent training in naturalistic environments is warranted and delivering services via telepractice is a promising method for overcoming barriers related to access. Yet, the feasibility of parent training with families in rural areas using telepractice is unclear. The present study will use a mixed-methods approach to explore the feasibility of adapting the RUBI parent training program to telepractice to be accessed by rural families directly in their homes. We will assess the fidelity of implementation by caregivers and interventionists, and caregivers’ acceptability of the intervention and telepractice format. To explore the impact of the intervention, pre- and post-intervention measures of children’s challenging behavior and adaptive skills as well as caregivers’ reported self-efficacy and stress will be compared. Focus groups will also be conducted with service providers to further explore barriers to providing services via telepractice in rural communities.

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