Training Caregivers to Implement a Structured Meal Protocol to Decrease Food Selectivity Among Young Children with Autism
Clark, Ronald Joseph
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This study evaluated a method of training caregivers to implement the Structured Meal protocol to treat children with autism who exhibit food selectivity. A treatment package consisting of written instructions and video modeling as well as in-vivo prompting and feedback (when necessary) was used to teach participants to conduct the protocol. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to evaluate the effects of training. In addition to the primary dependent variable (i.e., correct caregiver implementation of the Structured Meal protocol), data on three secondary dependent variables (i.e., child bite acceptance, mouth cleans, and inappropriate mealtime behavior) were collected. Results showed that instructions and modeling were effective to achieve the mastery criteria for one participant, with the other two participants needing in-vivo prompts and feedback. Two of the children exhibited an increase in quick bite acceptances using the Structured Meals protocol.