Distance education for parents of children with autism found effective

The use of a self-directed learning program to provide introductory training in pivotal response treatment to parents of children with autism

From: Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions

Family members play a central role in the education and treatment of children with autism. This study reveals how the use of a self-directed learning program, mainly through the use of instructional DVDs, can offer an easier, more convenient and flexible way for parents to learn how to teach their child to communicate and improve their behavior. The feedback from participating parents was very positive and results indicate that parents did improve their skills and there were significant improvements in child behavior.

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Abstract

There is increasing demand for access to effective interventions for families who have children with autism. Self-directed learning models have been successfully used with other populations as a way to reduce the service-need discrepancy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate, through a randomized clinical trial, whether the use of a self-directed learning pro¬gram could result in changes in behavior for parents and their children with autism. Results indicated significant differences between treatment and control groups at posttest on all of the dependent measures. Furthermore, all of the parents who completed the self-directed learning program reported high ratings of satisfaction. The data suggest the efficacy and effec¬tiveness of a self-directed learning program to serve as an initial step toward providing intervention for parents with children with autism.

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Article details:

Title: The use of a self-directed learning program to provide introductory training in pivotal response

Authors: Nicolette Nefdt, Robert Koegel, George Singer and Michael Gerber

From: Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 2010; 12; 23

DOI: 10.1177/1098300709334796

First published: originally published online May 7, 2009;

     
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