Effectiveness of ABA Parent Training in Spanish for Children with ASD
Objectives: The current study seeks to examine the effectiveness in improving target problem behaviors using a 10 week parent training intervention program conducted in Spanish, for Spanish-speaking parents of school-aged children with ASD.
Methods: This study was conducted at a clinical site where 75% of families were exclusively Spanish-speaking. Families were recruited who had at least one child with ASD, aged 6-8 years old. Nine families participated in the training program (n = 11 parents overall, with two spouses attending), which consisted of 6 group sessions, followed by 4 individual sessions. Sessions focused on teaching ABA terms, strategies, and application for issues with their own children. Families completed both parent and child measures before the training began (Vineland-II, Aberrant Behavior Checklist, Parent Stress Inventory, Home-Situations Questionnaire, etc.), including a diagnostic evaluation (ADOS-2 and KBIT-2) with their child. Throughout the intervention, ABC data and parent implementation efforts were recorded, and parents repeated the self-report surveys at the end of the training.
Results: The majority of parents consistently attended sessions (84.46% attendance) and reported changes in their use of behavior strategies as a result of participation. Participating children had a variety of behavioral challenges, from non-compliance to toileting, pulling hair, or problems with outbursts at school. Each family successfully collected information on their child’s behavior. Of the nine target behaviors, seven children (77.8%) showed improvements as a result of the intervention. Two parents did not report progress, as one family did not implement the intervention, and the other family discontinued participation before the end of the parent training sessions.
Conclusions: Parent training on ABA interventions was effective at reducing parent-nominated problem behavior in the vast majority of cases. Within this parent-group, there was a wide variety of parent knowledge, which was increasingly difficult for them to obtain with the language barrier. The parents who did not observe changes were those who did not choose to implement the interventions as designed. Additional resources are needed to better support non-English speaking families in learning about and implementing ABA interventions.