As the rates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) increase and early screening efforts intensify, more toddlers with high likelihood of ASD are entering the United States' (US') publicly funded early intervention system. Early intervention service delivery for toddlers with ASD varies greatly based on state resources and regulations. Research recommen...
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Context 1... indicated that their early intervention agencies had average leadership culture (as indicated by ORCA scores; Table 7) for innovation implementation. They considered leadership practices, staff culture, and opinion leaders (at the staff level) as strengths in their organizations in terms of readiness to support the use of new practices. ...
Background Self-directed web-based parent-mediated intervention programs may help counter some barriers associated with access to evidence-based practices. Methods The current study is a systematic review of 14 studies that included parent-mediated intervention programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), reported on child outcomes,...
Purpose Naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions (NDBIs) have demonstrated initial promise in facilitating social communication development for autistic toddlers, but their highly structured protocols may be a barrier toward their use by early intervention (EI) providers who must individualize intervention according to family-centered principles. This study aimed to characterize the extent to which EI speech-language pathologists (SLPs) use NDBI strategies, and the range of skills and behaviors addressed during their EI sessions, to contextualize the role of NDBIs within the scope of needs of families with autistic children in EI. Method This observational study included 25 families with an autistic toddler and their EI SLP. One home-based session was recorded for each family, and an observational measure was used to describe SLPs' NDBI strategy use. Qualitative content analyses were also used to characterize the strategies SLPs recommended to families, and the child skills and behaviors they discussed. Results SLPs did not implement NDBI strategies with high quality, but they implemented developmental NDBI strategies with significantly higher quality than behavioral NDBI strategies. SLPs discussed many strategies and skills across disciplines within the session. Conclusions SLPs may require further training to implement NDBI strategies, but given the breadth and depth of skills addressed during sessions, researchers should investigate and report on the impact of NDBIs on a wider range of communication skills and developmental domains. This will facilitate clinical decision making and make these interventions better aligned with family-centered EI principles. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.21834480
Lay abstract: Early Intervention systems provide therapeutic services to families of young children birth to 3 years with developmental delays and are considered a natural access point to services for young children and their families. Research studies in the autism field have been interested in training providers to deliver evidence-based practices in Early Intervention systems to increase access to services for young children with an increased likelihood of being autistic. However, research has often overlooked that Early Intervention systems prioritize family-centered care, an approach to working with families that honors and respects their values and choices and that provides supports to strengthen family functioning. This commentary points out that family-centered care deserves greater attention in research being done in Early Intervention systems. We describe how family-centered care may shape how interventions are delivered, and discuss directions for future research to evaluate the impact of family-centered care alongside intervention delivery.
Purpose Family-centered practice (FCP) is a core component of early intervention (EI) associated with improved child and family outcomes, but little is known about community-based speech-language pathologists' (SLPs') inclusion of families in EI. Many caregivers of autistic children experience caregiving-related stress, making these intervention principles especially critical to the provision of optimal services. This study aimed to characterize EI SLPs' use of FCP coaching strategies and the quality of caregiver–SLP relationships. Method Participants included 25 families with an autistic toddler and their EI SLP. One intervention session for each SLP–family dyad was recorded and coded for the SLP's use of FCP coaching strategies. Caregivers and SLPs completed surveys about their working alliance, caregiver perceptions of family-centered care, and SLPs' approach to FCP. Results SLPs primarily use child-directed strategies without caregiver involvement. When involving caregivers, SLPs infrequently use coaching strategies that are important for caregiver learning and collaboration (e.g., joint planning and guided practice with feedback). However, caregivers perceived their child's services to be highly family-centered, and caregivers and SLPs rated their working alliance to be of high quality. Conclusions The presence of strong caregiver–SLP working alliances alongside infrequent usage of effective coaching strategies indicates that SLPs may engage caregivers in ways that are perceived to be highly collaborative but are not optimal for caregiver involvement in all aspects of their child's services (goal setting and implementation of intervention). Consideration of family preferences and SLP beliefs about FCP will inform ways to disseminate FCPs needed to optimize families' capacities to support their child's development. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.20113550