Partnering With Caregivers to Support Development in Young Children With Autism
Aubyn Stahmer (UC Davis Health)
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper
Dr. Aubyn Stahmer is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the UC Davis MIND Institute, a clinical psychologist and a board certified behavior analyst. She directs the Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Stahmer has over 25 years of experience in implementation of evidence-based practices for children with autism, including a range of caregiver-implemented interventions. She is an expert in the translation of evidence-based autism research to community-based practice and delivery. She is an internationally respected expert in the use of naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions which are validated treatments for autism. Dr. Stahmer has conducted extensive research in the areas of caregiver coaching, early intervention, inclusive education and services research in autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Stahmer leads several grants funded through the U.S. Department of Education that involve adapting evidence-based practices for children with autism in collaboration with teachers and community providers.
Caregiver-mediated early interventions have demonstrated positive child and family outcomes for young children with, or at high likelihood of having, autism (Zwaigenbaum et al., 2015; Burrell & Borrego, 2012). Additionally, there is consensus that effective early intervention includes a caregiver component, including input in the development of treatment goals and priorities, identifying support for the family, and learning specific strategies to support their child’s development. However, many intervention providers working with children with autism and their families have limited training in how to partner with parents or how to coach them in the use of evidence-based intervention strategies. Recent research has identified key elements for caregiver coaching and engagement (e.g., Pellecchia et al., 2020). This presentation will examine the literature on effective coaching strategies and provide methods to increase caregiver partnership in the intervention process. The use of telehealth to deliver coaching will be examined.