Clinic-Based Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Caregivers Adaptive Skill Interventions for Children with Autism
Objectives Behavioral skills training (BST) with video-based feedback may be an effective means of preparing caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to implement behavioral interventions for adaptive skills. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of BST with video-based feedback to train caregivers to implement adaptive skill (e.g., brushing teeth, drinking from cup) interventions in a natural setting (home/community).
Methods Three caregivers and their children participated in the study. The caregivers identified tooth brushing, drinking from a cup, and walking down the stairs as target adaptive skills. Researchers taught the caregivers to implement an intervention consisting of choice, prompting, chaining, positive reinforcement, and differential reinforcement. Researchers employed a single-case multiple-probe across participants design to evaluate the effects of the training package on caregiver implementation of the intervention and child adaptive skill.
Results Results demonstrated improved caregiver procedural fidelity with all three of the caregivers meeting the pre-set performance criteria. Changes in the caregiver behavior maintained up to 8 weeks following the cessation of the intervention. Improvements in the child adaptive skill were also noted. Finally, all of the caregivers reported that they found the intervention and training procedures acceptable.
Conclusions These results demonstrate the utility of BST with video-based feedback to train caregivers in adaptive skill interventions for children with ASD. Limitations of the study and future research are also discussed.