Translating Learning to the Home Environment

April 27, 2022

Key Takeaway: Research has indicated that parental training and coaching programmes can be effectively translated into the student’s natural environment. Studies have also provided support for using routines-based models to improve the quality of goals in early intervention/early childhood special education professional training programmes. —Emmy Thamakaison

Sara Movahedazarhouligh (2021) at the University of Northern Colorado shares her systematic review investigating the effectiveness of family-centered practices in naturalistic settings and the early-intervention of such practices in parent training.

The routines-based (RB) family-centered approach was suggested to be functional in naturalistic settings for toddlers with Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or developmental delays. Specifically, using “varied family-identified routines” resulted in “parents [being] more likely to use communication strategies” and “children [being] more likely to use targeted communication skills,” Movahedazarhouligh (2021) quotes Brown & Woods (2015).1

  • Modelling intervention practices and providing parents with opportunities to implement interventions has been reported to correspond with “positive changes in [children’s] communication skills” and results in better unprompted requests in children with ASD and partial hemispherectomies, based on research by Meadan et al. (2013),2 Ingvarsson (2011),3 and Chaabane et al. (2009).4
  • The family-centered approach of problem-solving is suggested to have “contributed to the stability and durability of reductions in challenging behaviour” of young learners in a study by Moes & Frea (2002).5
  • Other family-centered approaches, including written instructions, performance-based feedback, and role-play, have also been suggested to contribute to improvement in aspects such as “children’s independent work skills,” “social interaction,” and “participation in play dates” based on work by Welterin et al. (2012),6 and Jull & Merinda (2011).7

Approaches focusing on RB interventions are also suggested to be beneficial in training programmes for interventionists, as they “improved quality ratings of goals and objectives” and resulted in “professionals’ knowledge, understanding, confidence, and home visiting skills [increasing] from pre to post-intervention.”

The effectiveness of other family-centered approaches other than RB in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education training programmes are yet to be explored in a wider context.

Though further research is needed, there is a “growing body of evidence” that has “validated many of the theoretical links between family-centered approaches . . . and desirable outcomes for families with a child with disability.” Therefore, practices that employ family-centered care and encourage parent-implemented interventions are encouraged as an early intervention for some children with special needs.

Article Summarized: Movahedazarhouligh, S. (2021). Parent-implemented interventions and family-centered service delivery approaches in early intervention and early childhood special education. Early Child Development and Care, 191, 1–12.

Summary by: Emmy Thamakaison—Emmy is a recent high school graduate attending Stanford University and is an enthusiastic advocate of MARIO Framework.

Additional References:

1. Brown, J. A., & Woods, J. J. (2015). Effects of a triadic parent-implemented home-based communication intervention for toddlers. Journal of Early Intervention, 37(1), 44–68. doi:10.1177/1053815115589350

2. Meadan, H., Meyer, L. E., Snodgrass, M. R., & Halle, J. W. (2013). Coaching parents of young children with autism in rural areas using internet-based technologies: A pilot program. Rural Special Education Quarterly; Morgantown, 32(3), 3–10.

3. Ingvarsson, E. T. (2011). Parent-implemented mand training: Acquisition of framed manding in a young boy with partial hemispherectomy. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44(1), 205–209. doi:10.1901/jaba.2011.44-205

4. Chaabane, D. B. B., Alber-Morgan, S. R., & DeBar, R. M. (2009). The effects of parent-implemented PECS training on improvisation of mands by children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42(3), 671–677.

5. Moes, D. R., & Frea, W. D. (2002). Contextualized behavioral support in early intervention for children with autism and their families. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32(6), 519–533. doi:10.1023/A:1021298729297

6. Welterlin, A., Turner-Brown, L. M., Harris, S., Mesibov, G., & Delmolino, L. (2012). The home teaching program for toddlers with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(9), 1827–1835. doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1419-2

7. Jull, S., & Mirenda, P. (2011). Parents as play date facilitators for preschoolers with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 13(1), 17–30. doi:10.1177/1098300709358111

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