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Promoting Parent-Child Interaction PI and
CoPI
Duration Sponsor
Including Parents in Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior

Heitzman-Powell, L.
Jamison; Koertner

 

KUMC/Pediatric

Current data indicate an alarming increase in the number of young children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Recent estimates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that one in 88 children are on the spectrum (CDC, 2012).  Individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly autism, often present with high-risk aberrant/problematic behaviors that are challenging for them and their families. These behaviors often prevent individuals from participation in home and community activities, may result in injury, and often result in lost productivity and increased family stress.

The use of functional analysis is recommended in best-practice interventions for (National Research Council, 2001).  The information gathered from this analysis is then used to determine the function of the behavior and to create intervention plans that will effectively and efficiently decrease the aberrant behavior and increase a more socially acceptable alternative behavior.  Most often functional analyses are conducted by trained professionals who then create a function-based behavior intervention plan and pass it on to the child’s caregiver.  Since 1997, functional behavioral assessment has become a mandatory under IDEA (IDEA, 1997).  This has greatly increased the need for functional behavioral assessments.  Recent research has focused on effective methods of training undergraduate students and educators to conduct functional analyses (Iwata, et al., 2000; Moore, et al., 2002; Mueller, Edwards, & Trahant, 2003; Wallace, Doney, Mintz-Resudek, & Tarbox, 2004). Despite this increase in training and research and the fact that parental involvement is essential to sustaining and providing intervention services to children with Autism (National Research Council, 2001), only a small amount of research has been conducted regarding parent-conducted functional analyses (Dunlap, Newton, Fox, Benito, & Vaughn, 2001; Frea & Hepburn, 1999).  The current project seeks to fill that gap and to further explore what effect parent-training in functional analysis may have on parents’ abilities to intervene upon their child’s problem behavior.

 


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