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Comparing the Effects of Home Versus Clinic-Based Parent Training for Children with Autism

Description: Research with parents on managing child problem behavior typically measures either child or parent behavior. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of training parents to implement a function-based behavior intervention plan (BIP) in a non-trained natural environment utilizing a Multiple Probe Design across Participants. Participants included four parent-child dyads. Measurement variables included parents' use of effective and ineffective strategies and child problem behavior. Intervention involved training parents to understand and implement the BIP using effective strategies, modeling the effective procedures, and providing feedback following parent implementation of procedures. Results showed that the intervention was very effective in promoting skill generalization of parents and decreasing child problem behavior. The findings have implications for research and clinical practice.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Crone, Regina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Parent Partnership: Towards a Constructional Approach to Improving the Life of Parents with Children with Autism

Description: Parents with children diagnosed with autism face a variety of stressors. The typical approach to dealing with these stressors is pathological which focuses on the problem by attempting to eliminate or alleviate the stressors through counseling, behavioral therapy, tutoring, and/or drugs. The purpose of the current study was to assess an alternative approach, a constructional one, which focuses on solutions by teaching 3 parents to analyze their life, formulate goals, and develop programs to reach their goals building off of their strengths and assets. The by-product is the reduction or elimination of the stressors. The results suggest that the use of a constructional program is very effective in helping parents develop a new repertoire that will ultimately improve their overall quality of life.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Liden, Timothy Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceptions of parents of students with autism towards the IEP meeting.

Description: The purpose of the study was to investigate how parents of students with autism perceived individualized education program (IEP) meetings. I determined factors that contributed to the belief held by parents that their children were or were not being properly served by IEP meetings. Parental relationships with educators, IEP meeting experiences, IEP outcomes, and treatment by educators were revealed through participant input. Parents were asked to share their experiences of previous IEP meetings. Additionally, parents provided input regarding practices that school districts could take to improve IEP meetings, and actions that parents could take to serve as better advocates for their children. Research findings indicated that parents did not perceive themselves as being treated as equals during IEP meetings. Parents believed that their input was not valued or welcomed by educators. Not having an equal voice toward their child's education prevented parents from positively influencing outcomes in their child's IEP meetings in terms of obtaining quality services and building positive relations with educators. Parents further revealed that educators failed to implement proper IEP protocol. According to parents, student objectives agreed upon in IEP meetings were often not always fully implemented for students receiving special education services. Research findings concluded that parents new to the IEP process often experienced difficulty understanding special education law, and were unaware of services that school districts should provide for their children.Suggestions for improving IEP meetings include: educators valuing parents as equal partners during IEP meetings, educators properly adhering to IEP objectives set forth in IEP meetings, and both educators and parents taking measures to becoming more knowledgeable of special education law and the IEP process.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Fish, Wade W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Toward a systematic evaluation of evaluating favorable conditions in a parent training program: The pursuit of happiness.

Description: Research has shown that parents of children with disabilities, such as autism, experience significantly higher stress levels than parents of typically developing children. It has been suggested that parent education programs, in particular naturalistic communication training, will reduce parental stress. Most of the literature in this area has relied on parental reports and has only focused on decreasing stress and has not directly addressed increasing alternate feelings, such as happiness. In different but related areas of behavior analysis, an emphasis has been placed on the importance of happiness as a quality of life indicator and that the development of multileveled assessment is sorely needed. This study was designed to analyze one set of measures within a data-based intervention program for parents of toddlers with autism. The Family Connections Project (FCP) is a parent training project designed to enhance the quality of relationships for families who have toddlers with autism. Within this project parents are taught to identify and arrange opportunities to interact with their children in ways that will increase motivation and social responsivity. This study looked at the collateral effects of this training program and investigated if FCP affected the relationship between parents and their toddlers; of particular interest was parental happiness. Video taped assessments were used as a direct measure to collect indices of parental affect/happiness (e.g., smiles). Independent judges' ratings were used in comparison with a controlled parent-child dyad. Furthermore, pre and post parental goals, descriptions, and satisfaction surveys were analyzed in the context of the parental happiness indices. Results were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across child skills and are discussed in the context of parent and child's targeted behavior changes and collateral outcome measures.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Broome, Jessica L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Measuring indices of happiness in a parent-training program.

Description: Behavior analysts have long recognized the need for direct and reliable measurement of complex behaviors that are important to society. Recently investigators have approached one of the singular most complex behaviors: happiness. Limited research, however, has explored happiness in parent-training programs with children with autism and their families. The current study applied the definitions and data systems used in Broome's 2007 study to obtain indices of happiness within a parent training program for parents of toddlers with autism. Direct measures of smiles and laughs were collected from videotaped assessments. Results suggest that the program increased behaviors associated with happiness. Results are discussed in terms of program development and future research.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Ewing, Sarah A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Training Package for Parents and their Toddlers with Autism: Observed Changes in Parent Teaching Episodes, Child Turn Taking and Social Attending, and Parent-Child Engagement

Description: Research has shown that parents of children with autism report higher stress than parents of children with other developmental disabilities. It has been suggested that parent training programs, specifically naturalistic social-communication training, can reduce parental stress and enhance the quality of the parent-child relationship. Although the development of a multilevel assessment has been suggested, much of the research in this area has relied on measures of parent implementation fidelity and specific child target skills such as vocal communication, eye contact, and joint attention. Few have directly measured the parent-child interaction. The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of an in-home parent training package for toddlers with autism on parent-child social interactions. Within this package, parents are taught to attend to contextual variables, to arrange the environment to set the occasion for child responding, to respond immediately to targeted child approximations, and to respond in ways that are mutually reinforcing, social, and fun. Data were collected during 5-min video-taped assessments, on the number of parent teaching episodes, child target skills (turn taking and social attending), engagement, and synchronous engagement. Results were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across two parent-child dyads and indicated increases in all measures. This study contributes to the current discussion on toddler parent-training programs and extends it in a way that highlights the benefits of using a multi-level assessment to measure the parent-child interaction.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hunt, Nina Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

The emergence of joint attention in a naturalistic parent training program.

Description: Behaviors related to joint attention have been described by behavior analysts and developmental psychologists alike as having a distinctly social function. Children with autism often do not emit these behaviors. Research on the collateral effects of teaching joint attention suggests far reaching consequences. Given the reported benefits of using these behaviors, and the theoretical descriptions of their function, we assessed joint attention as a collateral effect of a naturalistic parent training program. Data suggest that although these behaviors were not directly targeted, they increased in all 3 children. Implications of parent training goals and child intervention targets are discussed in terms of a behavior analysis of joint attention and child development.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Goettl, Elizabeth J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Training Program to Facilitate Caregiver Involvement in School Meetings

Description: Caregivers of children with autism will likely meet with many school professionals once their children become school-aged. These meetings can be intimidating for caregivers who are unfamiliar with special education terminology and protocol, and caregivers may feel ineffective when communicating with school personnel. The purpose of this study is to describe a training curriculum to teach caregivers ways in which to communicate during meetings with school professionals, including the kinds of questions to ask/statements to make and when to ask or make them. A detailed overview of the training procedures, the participants, and the outcomes are described here. Preliminary data suggest the training produced increases in communication skills and that caregivers found the training effective and useful.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Barahona, Heather
Partner: UNT Libraries

See Sam Run: a Mother's Story of Autism

Description: Thousands of children are diagnosed with autism each year, with a rate of occurrence of 1 in 150 births, compared to 5 per 10,000 just two decades ago. This astounding escalation has professionals scrambling to explain why the devastating neurological disorder, which profoundly affects a person’s language and social development, is on the rise. Are we simply getting better at diagnosing autism, or is a modern health crisis unfolding before us?
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 15, 2008
Creator: Heinkel-Wolfe, Peggy
Partner: UNT Press

Saving Ben: a Father's Story of Autism

Description: Each year thousands of children are diagnosed with autism, a devastating neurological disorder that profoundly affects a person’s language and social development. Saving Ben is the story of one family coping with autism, told from the viewpoint of a father struggling to understand his son’s strange behavior and rescue him from a downward spiral. “Take him home, love him, and save your money for his institutionalization when he turns twenty-one.” That was the best advice his doctor could offer in 1990 when three-year-old Ben was diagnosed with autism. Saving Ben tells the story of Ben’s regression as an infant into the world of autism and his journey toward recovery as a young adult. His father, Dan Burns, puts the reader in the passenger’s seat as he struggles with medical service providers, the school system, extended family, and his own limitations in his efforts to pull Ben out of his darkening world. Ben, now 21 years old, is a work in progress. The full force and fury of the autism storm have passed. Using new biomedical treatments, repair work is underway. Saving Ben is a story of Ben’s journey toward recovery, and a family’s story of loss, grief, and healing. “Keep the faith, never give up.” These are the lessons of the author’s miraculous journey, saving Ben.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 15, 2009
Creator: Burns, Dan E.
Partner: UNT Press