A Comparison Between Online and In-vivo Parent Training on Parental Acquisition of Skills to Promote Appropriate Behaviors in Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Blackman, Abigail L.
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Individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often receive Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) to acquire skills to live as independently as possible. However, skills learned through EIBI often do not generalize well without the help of the child’s parents (or other caregivers). Therefore, parent training is integral for individuals with ASD to generalize and maintain acquired skills. Research supports Applied Behavior Analysis as being effective in teaching parents to work with their children. Currently, the most common way to provide parent training is through in-vivo training, which can be costly and time consuming. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate the efficacy of online, self-paced parent training to in-vivo parent training sessions. The dependent measures assessing this outcome included standardized (e.g., Parental Stress Index—Short Form, Parental Sense of Competence) and direct methods (e.g., knowledge assessment, parent-child interaction). Before training, groups did not differ significantly on the four dependent measures. After training, statistically significant differences were found between pre- and post-test for the two direct measures, and the parental stress measure. There were no statistically significant differences between online and in-vivo training, revealing comparable effectiveness. These results suggest that online training can serve as a cost-effective alternative for the delivery of parent training and potentially other behavior-analytic services. In application, online services could support in-vivo services or be offered as a stand-alone option when in-vivo services are unavailable or too costly.