Preparing Interventionists via Telepractice in Incidental Teaching for Children with Autism

Abstract

Telepractice has emerged as a potentially effective means of preparing parents and educators as interventionists for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of telepractice to train interventionists to implement incidental teaching with preschool children with ASD. Three interventionists were taught to implement incidental teaching using a telepractice training package consisting of an online module, self-evaluation, and delayed performance feedback delivered via videoconferencing. A single-case multiple-baseline across-participant design was employed to evaluate the effects of the telepractice training package on interventionist acquisition and maintenance of incidental teaching. The distal effects of interventionist implementation of incidental teaching on child mands were also evaluated. Results showed that following the telepractice training program, interventionist implementation fidelity improved and child mands increased. Within six telepractice sessions, all interventionists reached the preset performance criteria of four consecutive sessions above 90 % fidelity. Changes in interventionist and child behaviors maintained at 2- and 4-week follow-up sessions. Taken together, these results suggest that telepractice is a promising method of providing instruction in incidental teaching to interventionists of young children with ASD.

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Correspondence to Leslie Neely.

Appendices

Appendix 1

Evaluation Sheet for Incidental Teaching

Instructions This checklist includes each step of the process of utilizing incidental learning. Within the table, record a “+” under the description of how you think you performed the step during your 5-min session.

  All of the time Most of the time Rarely Never
Interventionist arranges the environment to encourage student to request assistance or materials     
Interventionist follows the student’s initiations toward the communication opportunity     
Interventionist restricts access to the stimulus     
Interventionist waits for student to initiate the request for 3 s before initial prompting     
Interventionist presents a prompt for communication (model, mand model, gestural/physical prompt depending on the student’s needs)     
Interventionist delivers prompts only if the student demonstrates interest in an item     
If the student emits the targeted response, Interventionist provides access to item for at least 20 s (or provides one edible if using edibles)     
If the student does not emit the targeted response, Interventionist provides another model of the correct response     
Interventionist waits at least 3 s between prompts     
If the student does not emit the targeted response after the second prompt, Interventionist provides a final model of the correct response and provides access to the item     

Appendix 2

Researcher Developed Social Validity Questionnaire

Please complete the items listed below by placing a checkmark on the line next to each question that best indicates how you feel about the treatment. Please note that the treatment you are evaluating is the TRAINING PROCEDURES (VIDEO-CONFERENCING AND SELF-EVALUATION).

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Neely, L., Rispoli, M., Gerow, S. et al. Preparing Interventionists via Telepractice in Incidental Teaching for Children with Autism. J Behav Educ 25, 393–416 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10864-016-9250-7

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Keywords

  • Telepractice
  • Videoconferencing
  • Incidental teaching
  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Autism