Outcome of Training Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to use Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence Charts



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Background: Individuals diagnosed with ASD often engage in restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior (e.g., stereotyped or repetitive motor movements or use of objects), insist on sameness, exhibit inflexibility, and have highly restricted and fixated interests. According to Jang, Dixon, Tarbox, and Granpeeshe (2012), 94% of children diagnosed with ASD exhibit some form of challenging behavior (e.g., aggression, stereotypy, tantrums, and self-injury). A key factor during an intervention is the consistent involvement of the child’s parents (Hastings & Brown, 2002). The problem of practice addressed by the proposed study was parents’ training on using ABC strategies to reduce the frequency of challenging behaviors in their children and reduce parental stress levels. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to investigate whether training parents to use ABC narrative recording charts improves their understanding of the behavioral principles and increase the parents’ confidence in discussing their child’s challenging behaviors with others. The following research question was posed, to what extent, if any, does parent training on the use of ABC narrative recording charts improve parents’ understanding of basic behavioral principles, as well as the parents’ confidence in discussing their child’s challenging behaviors with others? Methods: Sixteen parents from a parent support group in a large urban area in the South were recruited to participate in this study. The parent training was provided via an online group platform. The training was designed to provide parents with information about the theoretical and practical rationale for using this approach to better understand and intervene with their children’s challenging behavior. The parent training was also constructed to provide participants with a framework for developing knowledge and improving their use of ABC narrative recording charts when discussing their children’s challenging behaviors with others. The framework included three modules (a) defining characteristics of Applied Behavior Analysis, (b) levels of competence in identifying and describing direct observation methods, and (c) parent outcome survey. Descriptive from the survey were analyzed to determine how representative the sample was of the national sample of parents with children with ASD. A Spearman rho was utilized to determine a statistically significant relationship between training and the parents’ understanding and the self-reported response to the challenging behaviors and basic behavior principles. Results: The results of the Spearman correlation analysis reveal there is a statistically significant relationship between response to child’s challenging behavior and the following basic behavior principals: applied (rho = .749, p = .002), behavioral (rho = .774, p = .001), analytic (rho = .697, p = .006), conceptually systematic (rho = .590, p = .026), generality (rho = .697, p = .006), accountable (rho = .558, p = .038), public (rho = .749, p = .002), doable (rho = .702, p = .005), empowering (rho = .884, p < .001), and optimistic (rho = .755, p = .002). Conclusion: The study results showed that parents who participate in parent training opportunities report good competency levels in identifying direct observation methods, discussing challenging behaviors with others, and less competency in describing the direct observation methods.



autism spectrum disorder, training parents, narrative recording charts