Telehealth is a potential solution to limited access to specialized services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in rural areas. We conducted a feasibility trial of parent training with children ages 3–8 with ASD and disruptive behavior from rural communities. Fourteen children (mean age 5.8 ± 1.7) from four telehealth sites enrolled. Thirteen families (92.9%) completed treatment, with 91.6% of core sessions attended. Therapists attained 98% fidelity to the manual and 93% of expected outcome measures were collected at week 24. Eleven of 14 (78.6%) participants were rated as much/very much improved. Parent training via telehealth was acceptable to parents and treatment could be delivered reliably by therapists. Preliminary efficacy findings suggests further study is justified.
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The authors thank Felissa Goldstein, MD for her for support of this project. This publication was made possible by the following grants: the National Institute of Mental Health NIMH R01 MH081148 (Principal investigator: L. Scahill); the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UL1TR000454. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Conflict of interest
Dr. Scahill serves as a consultant for Neuren, Coronado, Roche, MedAdvante, and Shire. Drs. Bearss, Burrell, Postorino, Crooks, Mr. Gillespie and Ms. Challa have no relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript.
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 was obtained from parents or legal guardians of all participants included in the study.
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Bearss, K., Burrell, T.L., Challa, S.A. et al. Feasibility of Parent Training via Telehealth for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Disruptive Behavior: A Demonstration Pilot. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 1020–1030 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3363-2
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Parent training
- Disruptive behavior