Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 11, pp 3846–3857 | Cite as

Demonstration of Parent Training to Address Early Self-Injury in Young Children with Intellectual and Developmental Delays

  • Jill C. FodstadEmail author
  • Alexandra Kirsch
  • Micah Faidley
  • Nerissa Bauer


Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are at a high risk for engaging in self-injurious behavior (SIB). Prognosis is poor when SIB emerges early. Limited research exists on interventions teaching parents how to manage their young child’s SIB. This investigation assessed the feasibility of adapting an applied behavior analytic parent training program with 11 parents of children 1–5 years of age with IDD and SIB. Quantitative and observational measures were used to assess outcomes; semi-structured interviews assessed caregiver satisfaction. Outcomes yielded preliminary data suggesting the adapted curriculum was feasible and acceptable to parents. Initial efficacy outcomes yielded decreases in SIB and observed negative parent–child interactions on pre- and post-measures. Qualitative data provided areas for further curriculum refinement.


Self-injury Parent training Applied behavior analysis Developmental delay Young child 



We would like to thank Alexia Cathala, BA with assistance in data management, and Noha Minshawi, PhD with feedback on initial study design.

Author Contributions

JF conceived the study, conducted analyses, drafted the manuscript. AK conducted supplementary analyses, assisted with drafting/providing feedback on manuscript drafts. MF conducted data collection, assisted with drafting/providing feedback on manuscript drafts. NB provided feedback on study design and provided feedback on manuscript drafts. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This research is supported by the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute Young Investigator Award funded in part by National Institutes of Health grant # UL1TR001108 (A. Shekhar, PI), 9/26/2013–4/30/2018, and the Indiana University Strategic Research Initiative (SRI). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the Indiana CTSI or NIH.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have no other conflicts of interest to report.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all caregiver participants included in the study for themselves as well for their child.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeuropsychologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyIndiana University-Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA

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