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Frequently Asked Questions about Parent-Implemented Intervention
 

Question 1: How do I ensure that I am using family-centered planning when using parent-implemented intervention?  >>


Question 2:  How do I know if the outlined goals for parent-implemented instruction are clear enough?  >>


Question 3:  What areas are appropriate to target through parent-implemented intervention?  >>


Question 4: How do I determine the learner’s goals to target during parent-implemented intervention?  >>


Question 5:  How often should parent-implemented intervention occur?  >>


Question 6: How do I monitor learner progress to ensure the parent-implemented intervention is effective?  >>


Question 7:  How much training should a parent receive when conducting parent-implemented intervention?  >>


Question 8: How do I reduce training with parents who are showing mastery over the intervention?  >>


1. How do I ensure that I am using family-centered planning when using parent-implemented intervention?

    Team members ensure the use of family-centered planning by involving parents in all components of the intervention process, including identification of strengths, needs, and priorities; goal development; intervention plan development; parent training; intervention delivery; and progress monitoring. Team members collaborate with families to ensure they are providing input and are empowered to make meaningful decisions. Team members gain thorough knowledge of the learner with ASD and family needs through interviews, observations, and ongoing discussion.

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2. How do I know if the outlined goals for parent-implemented instruction are clear enough?

The best way to be sure you have clearly defined the goal you are targeting is by putting it to the test with another adult. If the definition is precise and clear, you and another adult should be able to observe the learner using the behavior and consistently agree on whether or not the learner is correctly demonstrating the target behavior. If you and another adult do not agree on the target behavior, then the description of the behavior should be modified to eliminate any discrepancies.

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3. What areas are appropriate to target through parent-implemented intervention?

Parent-implemented intervention can be used to increase/improve communication skills and/or reduce interfering behaviors. In the area of communication, parent-implemented intervention has been used to increase social communication skills, conversation skills, spontaneous language, use of augmentative and alternative communication, joint attention, and interaction in play. In the area of behavior, parent-implemented intervention has been used to improve compliance, reduce aggression, increase eating, and reduce disruptive behaviors.

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4. How do I determine the learner’s goals to target during parent-implemented intervention?

There are a number of factors that must be considered when determining learner goals. Each learner with ASD is unique. Additionally, each family has its own specific circumstances and needs. Therefore, every effort must be made to ensure goals are individualized and address parents’ areas of concern. Team members gain a thorough understanding of family concerns by conducting interviews, observations, and engaging in ongoing discussions. Behaviors impacting family functioning should be of high priority. Teams should consider targeting those behaviors that (a) are a safety concern; (b) cause disruption in the home; (c) would result in increased interaction (type, frequency, nature, and reciprocity of interactions); (d) would increase access to the community; and (e) require instruction in the home for generalization. The learner’s Individualized Education Plan or Individualized Family Service Plan should be reviewed to identify goals that are appropriate for parents to implement in home and/or community settings.

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5. How often should parent-implemented intervention occur?

There is not an absolute amount of intervention parents should implement with their child. The frequency and duration of intervention will be highly individualized and be based on the unique needs of the family. To the maximum extent possible, parents are to implement the intervention daily within naturally occurring routines, activities, and interactions. The team member works with parents to develop an intervention plan they can implement consistently. The intervention plan will outline specifically when and for how long intervention should take place.

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6. How do I monitor learner progress to ensure the parent-implemented intervention is effective?

Parents need to focus on their child. Therefore, a data collection system must be simple and easy to implement in the context of natural routines while collecting enough information to determine whether the intervention strategy is effective. To track progress on acquisition of a skill or reduction of an interfering behavior, there are three recommended types of data collection appropriate for parents. Log book entries allow parents to track the implementation of intervention and document changes in behavior through a brief narrative. Occurrence data allow the parent to document whether the behavior occurred or did not occur during a specified interval of time. Frequency data allow parents to document how many times the behavior occurred during a specified interval of time. Each of these data collection systems require minimal time by the parents to record pertinent information about the learner’s performance.

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7. How much training should a parent receive when conducting parent-implemented intervention?

Due to each family having a unique set of circumstances, the duration of training will vary considerably. Training is to be based on family characteristics as well as any specific preferences the parents express. For example, family commitments, convenience, travel considerations, costs, as well as other personal factors may impact the training schedule. Parental learning style, ability to retain knowledge, application, and generalization of skills will also impact the optimal training program. Another consideration is the complexity of the intervention plan as some interventions may require more intensive instruction than others. 

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8. How do I reduce training with parents who are showing mastery over the intervention?

As parents demonstrate mastery over training content, team members systematically and slowly reduce the frequency of parent training sessions. As training is decreased, it is important for team members to continue to monitor parent performance to ensure they are able to provide effective intervention with less support. Once training is terminated, team members provide ongoing supervision through a variety of strategies designed to help parents generalize their skills to other behaviors. Such strategies include providing intermittent training sessions, reviewing written documentation, analyzing videos of intervention sessions, observing intervention sessions, as well as engaging in ongoing email or phone correspondence.

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