|Supporting Parents of Children Diagnosed With Autism Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy|
|Saturday, May 29, 2010|
|8:00 AM–11:00 AM |
|Bonham C (Grand Hyatt)|
|Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Service Delivery|
|CE Instructor: Anna Matchneva, M.Ed.|
|DANIEL J. MORAN (Trinity Services, Inc.)|
|Description: The parents of developmentally disabled children experience high levels of chronic stress (DeMyer, 1979; Holroyd, Brown, Wikler, & Simmon, 1975), and have high rates of depressive and anxiety disorders (Breslau & Davis, 1986). While most researchers understand that such concerns are largely “secondary or reactive to the stress and special non-normative adaptations” these children require (Konstantareas, 1990, p. 60), the fact remains that high levels of distress in these contexts both decrease quality of life and impose significant barriers to the parents’ successful and consistent implementation of behavioral treatment programs. It thus appears prudent for applied behavior analysis (ABA) consultants to also be prepared to help the parents of the referred client.
This workshop will help ABA consultants be aware of signs of significant parental psychological distress, and help them make appropriate referrals. In addition, this workshop will also discuss an acceptance and commitment training (ACT) approach to helping these parents with their distress and challenges.
The workshop will focus on the ACT consistent assessment and the pertinent ACT exercises and interventions that can be helpful to distressed parents. The workshop will cover values assessment, barriers to values-based behavior, and relevant mindfulness exercises. A significant portion of the workshop will focus on applying ACT interventions.|
|Learning Objectives: This workshop has the following objectives:
1. Attendees will become more aware of how parental distress interferes with the successful implementation of behavioral programs.
2. Attendees will learn to recognize and functionally analyze problematic behavior on the part of the caregiver.
3. Attendees will be introduced to the ACT approach to addressing problematic experiential avoidance exhibited by distressed caregivers.
4. Attendees will understand the reasons for and usefulness of values assessment in helping parents improve their functioning when helping their children, and also to improve their own quality of life.
5. Attendees will be introduced to acceptance and defusion exercises (e.g., mindfulness exercises) applicable to the distress they and parents of their child clients experience in the process of working with developmentally disabled children and adults.|
|Activities: A significant portion of this workshop will focus on the application of ACT exercises and interventions. We will discuss the major areas in the ACT model for behavioral flexibility and how it relates to being a parent with a child with disabilities. The participants can choose to engage in exercises in developing their own value system, and then learn what barriers impede value-guided behaviors. The workshop will also be guided by a slide show.|
|Audience: This workshop is for behavior analysts who work with children with developmental disabilities or autism spectrum disorders. This will also be worthwhile for parents of children with disabilities. The presenters plan a comfortable pace to introducing ACT and this workshop will be useful to anyone interested in the acceptance and commitment therapy approach.|
|Content Area: Practice|
|Instruction Level: Basic|