Title SCIENCE AND THE TREATMENT OF AUTISM: A multimedia package for parents and professionals
Project Number UK/08/LLP-LdV/TOI/163_187
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
The main aim of this project was to address the mismatch between increasing rates of autism diagnosis and the availability of professionals trained in Applied Behaviour Analysis.
The target audience included professionals in the field of psychology, medicine, education, and social work, who were concerned with autism, and, importantly, parents of children with autism. The project will be realised in two ways. Firstly, adaptations had been made of a unique multimedia training resource (SIMPLE STEPS - see www.peatni.org),developed by parents and professionals in a parent-led charity in N. Ireland concerned with the treatment of autism. Secondly, additional material for this resource had generated through dialogue with partners that took into account curriculum development issues in professional training in the science of behaviour analysis as well as cultural issues that are specific to each of the partner countries. As part of the project the partners provided 1000 copies of the pack in each of the partner languages (Spanish, German, and Norwegian).
The project addressed the acute shortage of suitably qualified professionals in behaviour analysis in Europe who could design, implement, and monitor interventions to address individual needs of children with autism through the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis. Parents of these children also needed training to help maximise the potential benefits of the treatment. In addition, there was a need for home tutors to be trained in ABA who could help parents run programmes. This project addressed this shortage in training opportunities by adapting an innovative multmedia training system for parents and professionals.
This project is the first of its kind to bring expertise in science-based training in autism to European partner institutions. The multilingual feature of the multimedia environment increased learning opportunities where currently a vacuum existed.
The multimedia environment was a valuable guide for lifelong learning on the part of parents. Parents were able to learn from seeing video clips of treatment procedure that they were able to adapt to meet the individual needs of each child. In addition, making the material culturally sensitive helped to highlight shorfalls in the teaching of the science across participating countries.
Given the shortage of training courses across Europe, a standardised multimedia environment helped to ensure transparency in competencies that are essential in the development of practical skills for students and continuous professional development for professionals.
The multimedia environment was relatively new to the teaching of the science of behaviour analysis and vocational education and training. As such this Project was specifically targeted as an innovative way of addressing lifelong learning. Currently, training material in the science of behaviour for the treatment of autism is largely confined to textbooks. For vocational lifelong learners, such as parents and professionals not familiar with scientific practices this presents a formidable obstacle. However, by using audio-visual material along with textural material in their own languages it will be possible to teach the principles of science and demonstrate practices that impact on how one maximises the learning opportunities for children with autism. We aimed to help parents become proficient in delivering home programs for their children, this made it easier to coordinate the learning opportunities for the child with those provided within a school.
In a general context where opportunities to obtain international qualifications in behaviour analysis (see www.bacb.com) weren severely restricted, this project aimed to develop coherence between the education of children with autism and the vocational education and training of their parents and professionals. As such the project addressed issues concerned with lifelong learning through the promotion and exchange of excellence in scientific training. This had been done via the development and dissemination of innovative multimedia resources for education, based on current scientific evidence. The project raised the quality of vocational training; built on and transfered best practices from all over Europe; developed and customised training materials for the needs of learners in the partner countries; exchanged experiences between teachers, trainers and managers thus increasing the transparency of the different vocational training systems in Europe and fostered their modernisation through learning from each other; offered innovations and improvements in Vocational Education and Training across European countries; engaged in transfer of knowledge, innovation and expertise between various Vocational Education and Training actors through transnational, and interdisciplinary learning.
Description There was a serious mismatch between increasing rates of autism diagnosis and the availablility of professionals trained in the only science with a significant track record in its treatment, Behaviour Analysis. The main aim of this project was to address this mismatch by developing multimedia training resources in behaviour analysis. The target audience included professionals in the field of psychology, medicine, education, and social work, who are concerned with autism, and, importantly, parents of children with autism. This aim were met in two ways. Firstly, adaptations was made of a unique multimedia training resource (SIMPLE STEPS - see www.peatni.org),developed by parents and professionals in a parent-led charity in N. Ireland concerned with the treatment of autism. Secondly, additional material for this resource were generated through dialogue with partners that takes into account curriculum development issues in professional training in the science of behaviour analysis as well as cultural issues that are specific to each of the partner countries. The package was translated into the native language of each partner country. It was envisaged that the finished product will be made available to parent groups in the partner countries and that it will be promoted by the European Association for Behaviour Analysis for use in Masters level training.
Utilization and distribution of results
Open and distance learning
Access for disadvantaged
Sectors Human Health and Social Work Activities
open and distance learning
material for open learning
Product information The translated "Simple Steps" training pack consists of a 52 page booklet which is supported by a DVD containing over 2 hours of video material (outlining basic techniques for understanding behaviour, increasing appropriate behaviours, and decreasing inappropriate behaviours), as well as a CD Rom containing useful resources for parents such as data collection sheets, token boards, toileting charts, etc. As part of the project the partners will provide 1000 copies of the pack in each of the partner languages (Spanish, German, and Norwegian).