ABA Parent Training in Spanish for Children with ASD

Saturday, May 14, 2016: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Hall A (Baltimore Convention Center)
E. Rotheram-Fuller, K. S. Turner, H. Park, T. Pinon, L. Parra and P. Miller, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Background:  Training in Applied Behavior Analysis for parents of children with ASD can be a critical support for both parents and their children (Bearss, Johnson, Smith, Lecavalier, & Swiezy, 2015). Parent trainings have been shown to be effective in helping improve problem behavior (Bearss et al., 2015), reducing feeding issues and parental stress (Sharp, Burrell, & Jaquess, 2014), and increasing children’s skill generalization across settings (Ingersoll & Dvortcsak, 2006). Unfortunately, however, these trainings have not been extensively studied with non-English speaking populations.  

Objectives: The current study seeks to examine the feasibility and impact of a 10 week parent training intervention program conducted in Spanish, for Spanish-speaking parents of school-aged children with ASD.   

Methods:  This study was conducted at a clinical site where 75% of families were exclusively Spanish-speaking. Families were recruited who had at least one child with ASD, aged 6-8 years old. Nine families participated in the training program (n = 11 parents overall, with two spouses attending), which consisted of 6 group sessions, followed by 4 individual sessions. Sessions focused on teaching ABA terms, strategies, and application for issues with their own children. Families completed both parent and child measures before the training began (Vineland-II, Aberrant Behavior Checklist, Parent Stress Inventory, Home-Situations Questionnaire, etc.), including a diagnostic evaluation (ADOS-2 and KBIT-2) with their child. Throughout the intervention, ABC data and parent implementation efforts were recorded, and parents repeated the self-report surveys at the end of the training.

Results:  Parent trainings are currently in session 5 of the 10 session sequence. Preliminary results suggest that the trainings have been appropriately adapted for the Spanish-speaking parents attending; the majority of parents have consistently attended sessions and report changes in their use of strategies as a result of participation. Participating children have a variety of behavioral challenges, and each family has successfully collected information on their child’s behavior. Longer-term effects on parent and child behavior, and social validity of trainings will be collected at completion. 

Conclusions:  It is important to consider adaptations needed for non-English speaking families with children with ASD. In this particular population, there was a wide variety of parent knowledge and advocacy, which is increasingly difficult with the language barrier. Additional resources are needed to better support non-English speaking families in ways that allow them access and information vital to their child’s success.