Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
The increasing prevalence of autism in the United States is a growing concern, with access to evidence-based services failing to keep pace with the demand. Families located in rural or remote areas are further hindered in attempts to access services due to both location and general lack of medical and behavioral healthcare providers. A major advancement in spreading the reach of interventions, such as applied behavior analysis, has been the development and refinement of telehealth. With growing interest in using technology to reach a wider client base, research on telehealth-based parent training for families impacted by autism has begun to increase. Despite the increase in research, many areas remain underdeveloped; therefore, this project sought to contribute to the literature by investigating the effectiveness of and expanding upon a manualized, behaviorally based parent-training program designed specifically for telehealth delivery. Procedures in Study 1 examined the relationship between standardized, parent-report measures of child problem behavior and an observational measure delivered via telehealth using Pearson Correlation Coefficients. Results of this study suggested using a combination of standardized measures and comprehensive observation-based data collection methods may enhance remote monitoring of child problem behavior. Procedures in Study 2 replicated and extended previous research to evaluate the Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills (OASIS-D) parent-training program as a method for increasing parent knowledge and skill in delivering applied behavior analytic (ABA) services to their child with autism. Effectiveness of the training program was evaluated in a multiple baseline across family dyad design. The results indicated that telehealth delivery of the OASIS-D program increases parent skill and knowledge in delivering ABA services, with four of four participants showing similar effects. Furthermore, the results indicated that telehealth-based training programs could benefit individuals in rural and remote areas. These studies provide needed information and support for increasing the availability and continued access of telehealth-delivered interventions when providing treatments to families impacted by autism.
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