Partners in School: A Parent-Teacher Consultation Model to Improve Consistency of Evidenced-Based Interventions across Home and School

Panel Presentation
Thursday, May 2, 2019: 11:45 AM
Room: 517B (Palais des congres de Montreal)
G. F. Azad1, D. S. Mandell2 and R. Landa1, (1)Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, (2)Center for Mental Health, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Consistency of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) across settings results in better outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Little is known about whether parent and teacher practices align in a way that would maximize consistency across home and school. Misalignment across settings may be distressing for children’s generalization of skills.

Objectives: To examine alignment of intervention practices between parents and teachers participating in Partners in School. In this consultation model, parents and teachers work collaboratively with a consultant to (1) identify a mutual concern, (2) define mutually agreed upon (hence, aligned) EBI steps to address the concern, and (3) implement those steps at home and school (reflecting consistency). We 1) examined the number of intervention steps completed by both parents and teachers (consistency); and 2) investigated what EBI characteristics predicted consistency between parents and teachers.

Methods: Participants were 26 teachers and 49 parents of children with ASD from an urban public school district. Most teachers were female (92.3%) with an average age of 36.6 years (SD = 9.7); approximately 80.9% identified as white and all taught in special education classrooms. Parents were mothers (93.9%) who averaged 38.1 years of age (SD = 7.8); approximately 30.6% were white, 36.7% were black, 24.5% were Hispanic/Latino. Participants engaged in a pre-consultation phone interview to prioritize their top three concerns about the child. Parents and teachers, together, also had an in-person consultation meeting to develop EBIs for use at home and school. A daily home-school note was used to monitor the number of intervention steps completed by parents, number of steps completed by teachers, and number of overlapping steps completed by both parents and teachers (i.e., same steps completed in the same way at home and school indicated consistency).

Results: Descriptive statistics and linear regression models were used. On average, parents completed 4.9 intervention steps at home and teachers completed 4.8 steps at school. On average, parents and teachers reported doing 3.4 of the same steps across home and school. When one of their top three concerns were addressed, both parents (B = 2.1, p = .035) and teachers (B = 2.2, p = .050) were more likely to complete the same interventions steps across home and school. For both parents (B = 1.02, p < .001) and teachers (B = .67; p = .009), the number of steps in their intervention plan was associated with home-school consistency. For parents, the number of home-school notes completed (B = .183, p = .034) at home also predicted consistency.

Conclusions: These results suggest that parents and teachers are more likely to do the same intervention steps in the same way when salient concerns are addressed for them. Additionally, it is important to consider the number of intervention steps to ensure comprehensive approaches without overburdening. This information is critical for parent-teacher alignment in intervention practices across home and school, which is important for maximizing consistency for children.