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Pilot Study Of A School-based Parent Training Program For Preschoolers With ASD

Brooke R Ingersoll, Allison L Wainer

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This study investigated the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a parenting training program designed for early intervention and early childhood special education (EI/ESCE) programs serving students with autistic spectrum disorders. Thirteen teachers representing three intermediate school districts implemented the intervention with 27 students and their parents. Eighty-nine percent of families completed the program. From pre- to post-intervention parents improved their use of the treatment strategies and children increased their rate of language during a parent-child interaction in their home. Parents and teachers reported significant gains in child mastery of social-communication skills and teachers, but not parents, reported a significant decrease in social impairment. Parents reported a significant decrease in parenting stress. Both groups rated the intervention highly in regard to treatment acceptability, perceived effectiveness, and usability. Findings suggest that this intervention can be feasibly implemented in public EI/ECSE settings, filling an important gap in services for intervention programs serving children with autistic spectrum disorders.