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with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

Distance Learning in ABA Parent Training

ABA parent training is an essential component of helping children with autism spectrum disorder. Parent training based on ABA can be helpful for parents of children with various abilities. Distance training can be a format in which to teach parents skills that can help their child learn new things, reduce challenging behaviors, and achieve goals.

Wayner and Ingersoll (2013) evaluated a distance learning program to help parents of children with autism teach their child a new skill. The program was found to be effective for teaching parents how to improve their child’s imitation skills, a skill that is commonly found to be impaired in children with ASD. The children of the parents who completed the training program also improved their imitation skills which was the ultimate goal of the training program.

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder often have many responsibilities including both typical activities that most parents have such as medical appointments for themselves and their kids, school events and meetings, and general household duties. Additionally, parents with a child with special needs may also have additional medical-related appointments, therapy appointments, and other meetings as well as compounded daily responsibilities and pressures of raising a child with special needs. These parents may also need to put more effort into caring for themselves to manage the internal and external stresses of their lives.

One way of helping these parents is through providing self-guided informational resources that will provide educational material but that can be completed on the parents’ own time. This would allow the parents to learn effective strategies for helping their child while reducing the stress of having to attend more appointments and traveling to and from those appointments.

Research has found that when parents are involved in the treatment process for their child with disabilities the child is likely to experience greater progress than when parents don’t play as large of a role in transferring skills targeted in therapy to the home environment. Baharav and Raiser (2010) discussed the benefits of a telepractice service provided to parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. When telepractice, also referred to as remote supervision, was provided by the service provider to the parents the child obtained even more gains than might have occurred without the use of a home-based telepractice service.

ABA parent training is an effective method for helping parents learn new skills to improve the learning and development of their children. However, ABA parent training should consist of certain characteristics. Quality ABA Parent Training should be research-based and incorporate principles of ABA, as well.

ABA Parent Training: Tips for Quality Applied Behavior Analysis Parent Training

It would make sense that providing parents with training via telepractice or through a self-guided training program would both be beneficial for outcomes of the child. Parents who have a child with special needs have many responsibilities. Therefore, learning provided in a way that is easy to access and yet still consists of helpful training material is one way of helping families with a child with special needs.


Eva Baharav and Carly Reiser.Telemedicine and e-Health.Jul 2010.ahead of print

Wainer, A.L. & Ingersoll, B.R. J Autism Dev Disord (2013) 43: 11.

Distance Learning in ABA Parent Training

Heather Gilmore, MSW, BCBA

Heather is a freelance writer, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and social worker. Heather takes interest in topics related to parenting, children, families, personal development, health and wellness, applied behavior analysis, as well as Autism, ADHD, Depression and Anxiety. Contact Heather if you would like to inquire about obtaining her freelance writing services.You can view more articles and resources from Heather at and email her at [email protected] can also advertise your autism services at one of Heather's websites: is the developer of the "One-Year ABA Parent Training Curriculum."


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APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2019). Distance Learning in ABA Parent Training. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 17, 2020, from