ABA parent training curriculum is something that a lot of ABA professionals (BCBAs, etc.) must develop individually. This is acceptable standard of practice and is like other fields in which a service is being provided to an individual for the goal of improving some sort of skill or deficit in the individual’s repertoire.
ABA parent training curriculum can have various characteristics. This curriculum can also be implemented in various contexts or modalities. ABA parent training curriculum may be implemented in a client’s home, in the community, in an office setting or even via telepractice services. One study completed ABA parent training curriculum remotely to help families who lived in rural areas (Heitzman-Powell, et. al., 2013). In this study, they improved parents’ knowledge of ABA and parents’ ability to implement ABA strategies with children significantly. They also saved thousands of service provider miles saving the company and the employees money and time.
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Another study evaluated the effects of a distance learning program that used ABA parent training curriculum via an online platform (Hamad, et. al, 2010). This service was offered as a distance learning education program with three modules for the parents to complete to learn about ABA and helping their child with autism. This service provided great benefits to the families and supported that distance learning and use of online ABA parent training curriculum can be helpful for families. It is also helpful if service providers review ABA concepts and individualize there training material to the client when providing face to face or in person training for parents.
As we know, ABA parent training curriculum should be individualized to the client we are working with and their family. One thing to consider in this process of individualizing the service of ABA is whether ABA parent training should be parent focused or child focused. This was explored in a study comparing the effects of a mindfulness and skills-based parent training program (Ferraioli & Harris, 2013). Since having a child with autism is often associated with high levels of stress as compared to parents who have typically developing children or children with other conditions, parent focused training that includes mindfulness is a possible approach to take to help these families.
Additionally, mindfulness in parent-focused training may help improve the parent-child interaction which ultimately benefits both parent and child. In the study parents participated in an 8-week program that incorporated didactics, discussion, role plays, and homework. They found that parental stress and global health outcomes significantly improved in the mindfulness group following treatment. The skills-focused group had less significant impacts although some treatment benefits were still found. This is an area to consider when working with parents of children on the autism spectrum. We need to focus on the client which often is the child but also the parent so we may need to make our ABA parent training curriculum more parent oriented when it will benefit the child and the parent and family.
Whether you are providing ABA parent training remotely or in person, you can use these Free ABA Parent Training Lessons to help guide your sessions.
ABA parent training curriculum may be provided via telepractice (remotely) or in person. It may be implemented in the home or an office setting. There are a number of characteristics that could be focused on within ABA parent training curriculum including whether intervention should be targeted at the behaviors and skills of the parent or the child and whether homework or face to face training will be provided to the parents. Take into consideration your client, the family’s resources and preferences, and use your clinical judgment to develop the best ABA parent training curriculum that you can for your client.
Ferraioli, S.J. & Harris, S.L. Mindfulness (2013) 4: 89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-012-0099-0
Hamad, C. D., Serna, R. W., Morrison, L., & Fleming, R. (2010). Extending the Reach of Early Intervention Training for Practitioners: A Preliminary Investigation of an Online Curriculum for Teaching Behavioral Intervention Knowledge in Autism to Families and Service Providers. Infants and young children, 23(3), 195–208. doi:10.1097/IYC.0b013e3181e32d5e
Heitzman-Powell, L. S., Buzhardt, J., Rusinko, L. C., & Miller, T. M. (2014). Formative evaluation of an ABA outreach training program for parents of children with autism in remote areas. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 29(1), 23-38. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1088357613504992