Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 2275–2284 | Cite as

Comparison of a Self-Directed and Therapist-Assisted Telehealth Parent-Mediated Intervention for Children with ASD: A Pilot RCT

  • Brooke IngersollEmail author
  • Allison L. Wainer
  • Natalie I. Berger
  • Katherine E. Pickard
  • Nicole Bonter
Original Paper


This pilot RCT compared the effect of a self-directed and therapist-assisted telehealth-based parent-mediated intervention for young children with ASD. Families were randomly assigned to a self-directed or therapist-assisted program. Parents in both groups improved their intervention fidelity, self-efficacy, stress, and positive perceptions of their child; however, the therapist-assisted group had greater gains in parent fidelity and positive perceptions of child. Children in both groups improved on language measures, with a trend towards greater gains during a parent–child interaction for the therapist-assisted group. Only the children in the therapist-assisted group improved in social skills. Both models show promise for delivering parent-mediated intervention; however, therapist assistance provided an added benefit for some outcomes. A full-scale comparative efficacy trial is warranted.


Autism Parent training Telehealth 



This project was supported by CDMRP Grant: #W81XWH-10-1-0586. The first author receives royalties from the sale of the manual that was adapted for use in the online tutorial. Royalities are donated to the research. We thank the families who participated in this study.

Author Contributions

BI conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination and drafted the manuscript; ALW, NIB, and KEP performed the measurement and participated in its design and coordination and helped to draft the manuscript. NB performed the measurement and participated in the study’s coordination. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brooke Ingersoll
    • 1
    Email author
  • Allison L. Wainer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Natalie I. Berger
    • 1
  • Katherine E. Pickard
    • 1
  • Nicole Bonter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Rush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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