Examining parent use of specific intervention techniques during a 12-week training program based on the Early Start Denver Model

Hannah Waddington, Larah van der Meer, Jeff Sigafoos, Andrew Whitehouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Contemporary parent-implemented early intervention programs for children with autism spectrum disorder usually incorporate a range of techniques with different theoretical underpinnings. While research suggests that parents often learn to implement interventions with an acceptable degree of overall fidelity, there is limited research into parent use of individual intervention techniques. This study included five mothers of young children with autism spectrum disorder who participated in a 12-week parent training program based on the Early Start Denver Model. Ten-minute play samples were coded for the mothers’ use of 18 specific Early Start Denver Model techniques before, during, and 1 month after the training program. The correlation between the mothers’ use of each Early Start Denver Model technique and their child’s level of engagement and expressive language was also calculated. Results suggest that all mothers increased the number of techniques that they were using from baseline to parent training. Some Early Start Denver Model techniques were moderately or strongly correlated with both child engagement and expressive language. There was considerable variation in outcomes across all mother–child dyads. These preliminary results have implications for how parents are trained/coached to implement interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorder. Lay abstract: Parents of young children with autism are often taught to deliver interventions which involve several different types of strategies. Research suggests that parents can usually learn to deliver these interventions but not much is known about their use of each specific intervention strategy. This study included five mothers of young children with autism who participated in a 12-week parent training program based on the Early Start Denver Model. We measured their use of 18 different ESDM strategies before, during, and 1 month after the training program. We found that parents increased the number of strategies that they used during the training program. There were differences between mothers in terms of the ESDM strategies that they used the most during the training. We also found that some of the strategies were more closely related to children’s levels of engagement and language than others. This suggests that parent training should be adapted to suit each parent’s needs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAutism
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

    Fingerprint

Cite this