International Meeting for Autism Research: JumpStart Learning to Learn: One Week Intensive Parent Training and Diagnostic Therapy for Autism

JumpStart Learning to Learn: One Week Intensive Parent Training and Diagnostic Therapy for Autism

Saturday, May 22, 2010: 1:45 PM
Grand Ballroom AB Level 5 (Philadelphia Marriott Downtown)
1:15 PM
B. Siegel , Psychiatry, UC San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
T. Sendowski , Psychiatry, UC San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
L. Fancy , JumpStart Learning-to-Learn, San Francisco, CA
D. Neufeld , Education, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
JumpStart Learning to Learn is an intensive evidence-based one-week manualized developmental-behavioral protocol that teaches parents alongside their newly-diagnosed child with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents receive one-to-one technical assistance for developing their 18-36 month-old child’s language and play while increasing instructional readiness and decreasing behavior incompatible with instruction and learning techniques to create a more supportive, constructive family environment.
1.         To increase instructional control through teaching pivotal responses to high interest functional materials and activities that are part of daily home life (e.g., Schriebman, 2000). 
2.         To increase capacity for reciprocal interaction through joint parent-child play with high value activities around the home using principles of DIR (e.g.,Greenspan & Weider, 1998) . 
3.         To increase spontaneous communication using a visually-based augmentative communicative protocol that shapes behavioral components of joint attention in the context of requesting high value objects and activities using a natural environment teaching paradigm (e.g., Koegel, Carter & Koegel, 2003). 
4.         To increase parent expertise through teaching of special parenting techniques (per 1-3, above) to improve home interactions a) to increase treatment intensity, b) decrease family stress, and c) guide parents in becoming informed consumers of autism services that fit their child’s neurodevelopmental profile.   
            Study Design:  We will present preliminary data from a RCT of JSLTL v a 6 month waiting-list control receiving TAU in the community.  Baseline and 6 month post- JSLTL data on parent knowledge of autism, family functioning, dyadic adjustment and depression will be presented to address whether there are psycho-social benefits to JSLTL that may be expected to drive improved autism-specific child-rearing practices. 
            Intervention: Parents and their child attend alternating one-to-one sessions with behavioral, play and language coaches who first demonstrate and then coach parents in techniques to increase the child’s compliance, joint attention, imitation and spontaneous communication.  The program is comprised of two daily 2-1/2 hour blocks for 4 days inter-weaved with 1 or more hours of direct didactic sessions on autism from coaches and program director.  The final day is a half-day of wrap-up with the program director including scoring of a learning profile matrix and a half-day of ‘docent-ing’—visiting potential placements to learn how to assess their child’s fit to his/her learning profile matrix. 
            Data to be presented will be on parents 6 months post JSLTL (N=25) compared to a matched group of parents (N=25) matched for time since diagnosis who have never received JSLTL.  Data will be from the ‘Living with Autism’ questionnaire devised for this study that measures acceptance of the diagnosis of autism, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, Beck, Steer, & Brown, (1996),  the Family Empowerment Scale (Koren, DeChillo, & Friesen1992), and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale-4 (Sabourin, Valois, & Lussier, 2005).   
            Data collection for the comparison group is on-going.  Data on the JSLTL group is complete.  We hypothesize that parents who have received JSLTL will have more resolved grief around the diagnosis, be less depressed, and report better marital and family functioning compared to un-intervened families.
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