Research Review of Group Parent Training
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Parent training is an effective intervention to reduce the professional and financial resources required for the increasing population of children being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Parent training is not always focused on in typical ABA services. However, it is very important to utilize this beneficial intervention.
Additionally, group parent training may even make for more efficient intervention training for parents of children with autism. This might also help professionals save time and money by being able to train multiple parents at one time and thus decreasing the amount of one on one time with each parent. Plus, this gives parents opportunities to relate and communicate with one another and share stories and suggestions.
One evidence-based strategy for treating children with autism spectrum disorder is pivotal response training or PRT. This is basically an intervention that is based on focusing on pivotal behaviors and teaching in a more natural environment compared to traditional discrete trial training strategies.
One study (Minjarez, Williams, & Mercier, 2011) tested the effectiveness of group parent trading based on pivotal response training. They looked at how well parents implemented the PRT protocol or the fidelity of the use of the intervention as well as the child's functional verbal utterances or how many appropriate sounds they were making.
The findings of the studies show that group parent training in this model was effective at teaching parents about PRT and also increasing their child's language skills.
Using group parent training is an effective method and is likely to benefit all parties including the parent, the child, and the service provider.
TIPS TO TAKE FROM THIS POST:
Consider whether funders of your client’s ABA services allow group parent training.
Survey your clients’ parents to see if any of them would be interested in a group parent training session.
Plan a schedule for parents who want to participate.
Plan a session schedule to keep your group structured, informative, and reinforcing for parents (and yourself).
Here are a few suggestions for other resources that may help you in your ABA parent training services.
Informing parents about the use of video modeling to teach kids with autism can be a great strategy. See Model Me Kids for some great materials.
See Fun and Function for lots of ideas for toys and products to use with children with autism spectrum disorder.
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Minjarez, M.B., Williams, S.E., Mercier, E.M. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2011) 41: 92. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-010-1027-6