In-Home Training for Fathers of Children with Autism: A Follow up Study and Evaluation of Four Individual Training Components

In our work we closely examined four individual parent-training intervention components thought to be linked with these core constructs: imitating with animation, expectant waiting, following the child’s lead, and commenting on the child

Jennifer H. Elder; Susan O. Donaldson; John Kairalla; Gregory Valcante; Roxanna Bendixen; Richard Ferdig; Erica Self; Jeffrey Walker; Christina Palau; Michele Serrano


Scholarcy highlights

  • Recent estimates from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that as many as 1 in 110 US children are diagnosed with autism or an autism spectrum disorder
  • Literature regarding fathers of children with autism remains sparse, and because mothers are the more common intervening parent, few training methods have focused on fathers
  • As discussed in the introductory section, the four individual training components are linked to social interaction theory and designed to promote social reciprocity between parents and children with autism
  • After fathers were trained by the parent trainer and mothers were trained by fathers, both groups effectively used these strategies and demonstrated significant increases in frequency
  • Anecdotal reports indicated that parents viewed the first strategy as ‘‘fun’’ and were able to incorporate it into their daily parent–child interactions
  • Mothers used commenting on the child more often than fathers during baseline, and perhaps that is why they did not demonstrate the same significant increases as fathers following training
  • Labor-intensive, we noted that collecting videotaped data over numerous sessions rather than single pre and post-intervention is very important because behavioral variability in children with autism often occurs

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