Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder are presented with unique challenges that are demanding, frustrating and that contribute to high parental/familial stress. Mothers and fathers may face daily challenges of inflexible behavior coupled with heightened sensory sensitivities from the child with autism. They can come across multiple environmental triggers that initiate the onset of maladaptive behaviors in their children with autism.
Our group parent training course supports parents by increasing their knowledge on how behavior is learned and the underlying function or purpose of their child’s challenging behaviors. Parents learn side by side the meaning behind their child’s problem behaviors and how to address these behaviors in their daily life. Parents are supported by experienced and credentialed staff that assists them to meet their child’s behavioral needs.
The parent training course is divided into four group sessions with specific goals and learning objectives.
Session 1 – Family Foundations
Led by a licensed clinical psychologist who addresses parental fears, concerns and stressors of having a child with autism in the family. Parents begin to recognize their fears, learn to accept their child’s diagnosis and the challenges accompanied with raising a child with autism. This session offers parents the opportunity to share information, get advice and lean on each other for emotional support.
Session 2 – Addressing Behavioral Needs through ABA
Basic principles of applied behavior analysis are introduced and used to address behavioral excesses and deficits. Parents learn that all behavior serves a function or purpose and that challenging behaviors can be strategically replaced with appropriate behaviors. Videos are used to allow parents time to practice identifying possible functions of behaviors. Parents learn how to fill out a simple chart to document targeted behaviors, antecedents and consequences. Homework is assigned asking parents to complete the chart of their child’s behavior and begin developing ideas for replacement behaviors.
Session 3 – Addressing Behavioral Needs through ABA
The data parents collected is reviewed and parents learn how to manipulate antecedent and consequences systematically in order to change behavior. They learn proactive strategies to manipulate or alter the antecedent that signals that a behavior is about to occur and how that behavior can be prevented. Parents also learn reactive strategies that can be used to manipulate or alter the consequence of a behavior.
Session 4 – Proactive and Reactive Visual Supports
Parents are taught how to use visual supports to increase positive behaviors. Each family is given a toolbox filled with a variety of visual supports to teach and support their child’s behaviors. Items such as token economies, communication prompts and visual schedules are provided and their use demonstrated. Parents are invited to request individualized visual supports to support teaching their child alternate behaviors and communication skills. The toolbox also includes sensory activity ideas.
Parent training classes are offered in Bexar, Comal and Kendall County locations.
- Bexar County location – in-person classes at Any Baby Can
- Comal County location – interactive web-based classes at Children’s Advocacy Center
- Kendall County location- interactive web-based classes at The Kronkosky Place
Take advantage of this free service! Please contact us to request more information and to sign-up.