Evaluating a self-instructional package on discrete-trials teaching with parents of children with Autism
Young, Kristen L.
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The purpose of this research was to evaluate a self-instructional package (Fazzio & Martin, 2007) to train parents of children with autism to conduct discrete-trials teaching (DTT). In Study 1, I investigated the effectiveness of a self-instructional manual and a self-instructional video for teaching five parents of children with autism to correctly apply DTT to teach three tasks to a confederate who role-played a child with autism. For three of the parents I also evaluated their ability to apply DTT to their children with autism. Following an average of 4.76 hours of training, the package produced a strong effect with three parents and a weak effect with two parents. In Study 2, I investigated the effectiveness of the self-instructional manual combined with role-playing and feedback, plus the self-instructional video, for teaching an additional five parents of children with autism to apply DTT to a confederate and to their children. Following an average of 4.68 hours of training, all five parents demonstrated large, clinically significant gains in their performance of DTT, both with a confederate as well as with their own child, with a minimal investment of one-on-one instructor time. The treatment procedures in both experiments were very well received by the parent participants. These results suggest that the training package in Experiment 2 has considerable potential as an effective, efficient and acceptable method of training parents of children with autism to apply DTT.