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Naturalistic Communication Training For Early Intervention Providers And Latinx Parents Of Children With Signs Of Autism

Cindy Gevarter, Adriana Medina Najar, Jennifer Flake, Felicia Tapia-Alvidrez, Alixandria Lucero
Published 2021 · Medicine

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In this study, researchers implemented a brief training plus coaching program in naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention with three participant triads. Each triad consisted of an early intervention provider, an English-speaking Latinx parent, and that parent’s young child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or early signs of ASD who had limited vocal speech. The effects a single training session, plus two researcher coaching sessions were evaluated using a nonconcurrent multiple probes across participants design. Primary dependent variables included (a) the number of completed targeted communication turns between the parent and child and (b) the number of child independent target communication responses (gestures and manual signs) during family-selected routines. Additional measures examined whether parents used strategies taught to them during training, and whether early intervention providers addressed strategies taught via coaching. A social validity measure was used to determine parent and provider views of the training. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, training and post-training sessions were delivered via telehealth for two triads. While data trends and variability differed across triads, following training, all three families increased the number of completed target communication turns and all three children showed higher rates of independent communication responses. Parents and providers implemented strategies taught and reported positive effects of the program. Implications regarding the use of naturalistic intervention methods for Latinx families, the utility of brief training models to meet the needs of under-resourced early intervention programs, and potential uses of telehealth are discussed. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10882-021-09794-w.
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