Feasibility of Training Early Childhood Educators in a Community Child Care Setting Using a Caregiver-mediated Intervention for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jessica Brian, Kate Bernardi, Erin Dowds, Rachel Easterbrook, Stacey MacWilliam, Susan Bryson


Parent-mediated intervention programs have demonstrated benefits for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Interest is emerging in other community-level models, such as those that can be integrated into child care settings. These programs have the potential to reach a wide range of high-risk toddlers who spend the majority of their day in child care. The objective of this study was to translate and evaluate the feasibility of the Social ABCs caregiver-mediated intervention program into a community child care setting by training front-line early childhood educators (ECEs). Twenty-two ECEs attended a workshop on early intervention and ASD, and six ECEs and one special needs resource consultant received hands-on intervention training. Nineteen participants completed a workshop quiz, with significant mean improvement of 22.26% from pre- to post-workshop. After 12 weeks of live coaching (4 weeks in one case), participants attained a high level of fidelity in implementing the intervention strategies (> 80%), which was maintained after a 3-month period of non-contact with the training team. Nine of ten specific strategies were mastered after the 12-week training period, with only one technique failing to reach a mean fidelity level of 75%. Findings reveal that the model of training front-line child care staff in a community child care setting is feasible using a relatively short-term training approach.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v5i5.2345


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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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