Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #387
CE Offered: BACB
An Evaluation of Pivotal Response Treatment Parent Training Models for Young Children With Autism
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Discussant: Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
CE Instructor: Amy Kenzer, Ph.D.

Parent involvement in early intervention services is considered best practice for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (National Research Council, 2001). Pivotal Response Treatment, in particular, places emphasis on the naturalistic implementation of intervention and including parents as providers of treatment. Training parents to implement intervention with fidelity can maximize the intensity of treatment and extend beyond time, locations, and contexts of professionally provided services. Research has demonstrated that caregivers can be taught to implement Pivotal Response Treatment with fidelity in both group-based and individual formats (Symon & Koegel, 2002; Minjarez, Williams, Mercier, & Hardan, 2011). However, it is only recently that specific components of these programs have begun to be systematically evaluated or explained. While some parents succeed in short-term training programs, others make minimal gains with variable outcomes observed across families. Following effective parent training programs, skill maintenance can also be variable across time and participants. The presentations in this symposium will provide information about variables contributing to increased skill performance and maintenance for short-term parent training programs teaching Pivotal Response Treatment using community-based service models. These variables include parent measures of self-efficacy prior to a parent-training program, the provision of follow-up training sessions, and compliance with on-going training.

Keyword(s): early intervention, parent training, PRT

Maintenance of Implementation Following an Intensive Parent Training Program

ALEXIS N. BOGLIO (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Daniel A Openden (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Christopher Smith (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)

Parent involvement is a critical component of effective interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders with limited access to professional providers. Several short-term training models have demonstrated efficacy in teaching caregivers to implement evidence-based interventions (Koegel, Symon, & Koegel, 2002). However, recent research suggests that for caregivers who attain fidelity of implementation, approximately half of the participants do not maintain those skills over time (Gengoux et al., 2015). In the current study, 42 parent-child dyads participated in a week-long, intensive training model in a clinic setting (Koegel et al., 2002) with 17 dyads randomly selected to receive remote coaching follow-up sessions across a 12-week period. Results indicate that 9 dyads (53%) completed all scheduled follow-up sessions. Of these 9 dyads, 8 dyads obtained fidelity of implementation during the one-week training period. Following completion of follow-up sessions, 7 dyads maintained fidelity of implementation while 1 dyad achieved the fidelity criterion for a total of 8 out of 9 dyads (89%) demonstrating fidelity 12-weeks post-training. These results further support the short-term training model and suggest that follow-up sessions may enhance skill maintenance. Practitioners offering short-term parent training services may consider this practical, remote-coaching follow-up model to improve maintenance of fidelity for participants.


JumpStart Program: Parent Training in Pivotal Response Treatment and Predictors of Success

BEATRIZ ORR (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Nicole Matthews (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)

Many behavioral treatment models for autism spectrum disorder include a parent training component (Steiner et al., 2012). JumpStart is a 20-hour education and empowerment program for parents of young children considered at-risk or recently diagnosed with autism. Caregivers receive didactic instruction, guided observation, and in-vivo coaching in Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) in addition to didactic instruction about the autism diagnosis, Applied Behavior Analysis, and navigating funding and service systems. Upon completion, many parents are able to successfully implement PRT, however, there is considerable variability in parent fidelity of implementation. The current study examined parent fidelity of implementation of PRT, child responsivity to parent-implemented intervention, parenting self-efficacy scales, and depression measures for 31 parent-child dyads. Findings indicate increases in child responsivity, parent fidelity of implementation, and self-efficacy, with decreased measures of depression following completion of the program. Additionally, initial parenting self-efficacy measures predicted positive change in child responsivity and parent fidelity of implementation. These results suggest that meaningful outcomes can be achieved with minimal training and that parenting self-efficacy measures may influence the effectiveness of parent-training programs.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh