Educating Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on Direct and Interactive Teaching Techniques – Editt Program

Poster Presentation
Thursday, May 10, 2018: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Hall Grote Zaal (de Doelen ICC Rotterdam)
K. Rajaraman1, A. Jayaraman2 and N. Mundkur1, (1)Centre for Child Development and Disabilities, Bangalore, India, (2)Center for Child Development and Disabilities, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Background: In India, >10 million children are affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD). With improvements in diagnosis, the number of cases is expected to greatly increase; however, there continues to be a deficit of professionals in the field of autism intervention. Parent-implemented intervention has shown better outcomes for both children and parents compared to other forms of intervention for ASD, and has extended the benefits of intervention to the home environment. We have designed and implemented two programs that empower parents as interventionists as well as provide development appropriate activities in the four developmental domains – Socio- emotional, Receptive communication, Expressive communication, and Play.

Objectives: To develop programs to involve and support parents in the developmental intervention of children with ASD.

Methods: We have developed an online parent-based program called SCoPE (Social Communication Play and Emotional) that provides development appropriate activities for children with developmental delays including ASD. In addition, we have developed EDITT (Educating parents on Direct and Interactive Teaching Techniques), a novel hands-on training program to empower parents with home-based parent-delivered developmental intervention using SCoPE. In the EDITT program, parents (n = 30) received 4 group-training sessions with their child and 4 individual sessions in the first month. They were assessed by the trainer for knowledge acquisition and practical application on a weekly basis. After the first month, parents have the option of enrolling for monthly maintenance sessions of 1 h for 6 months. At the end of 6 months, parents will be assessed for retention of knowledge and practical application. In addition, we also assessed the mental status of parents using modified Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) and SF-36 forms before and after the training sessions. Data were analyzed using paired t-test with a significance level of 0.05.

Results: The mental status of parents in the EDITT program showed significant improvement between pre-training and post-training (p = 0.0018). Although there was no significant difference in the knowledge acquisition level between weeks 1 through 4, the parents showed significant improvements in the practical application between weeks 1 and 2 (p = 0.0001) and between week 2 and weeks 3-4 (p = 0.0008). The 6 month-data will be available for analyses in the coming months.

Conclusions: Based on our pilot data, we can conclude that the EDITT program is helping parents to be more sensitive and responsive to their children with ASD as well as training them to facilitate socio-emotional, functional communicative and play development through theoretical and practical knowledge. We have already seen significant improvements in parents as interventionists who extend their training to their home environment and everyday activities of their children. We also observed a significant improvement in their depression status and quality of life after the training and a sense of empowerment.