In a recent study, CARD researcher Jina Jang and colleagues found the CARD eLearning program to be effective in training family members of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis (ABA). CARD eLearning is a web-based training program that covers topics about ABA and the treatment of ASD. Caregiver training is a crucial component of ABA treatment. Some research has suggested that caregiver involvement may improve treatment outcomes for children with ASD. Traditional in-person caregiver training can oftentimes be costly, inconvenient for caregivers’ schedules, as well as unavailable to caregivers living in remote areas. The CARD eLearning program may be an effective substitute or complement to traditional caregiver training as it is cost-effective and convenient for caregivers to complete within the comfort of their homes at their own pace. Furthermore, CARD eLearning allows for the dissemination of ABA training to caregivers around the world, who otherwise would not have access to such training.
Previously, CARD founder and executive director Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh and members of the CARD research department conducted a study suggesting that CARD eLearning may be effective in training newly hired behavioral therapists. In the current study, CARD researchers set out to evaluate the effectiveness of CARD eLearning in training family members of children with ASD.
Participants included 28 family members of children with ASD. While the majority of the participants were mothers, participants consisted of fathers and grandmothers as well. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: experimental or control. Due to the important nature of the training, both groups were given access to the CARD eLearning. Pretests were given to participants in both groups in order to assess their preexisting knowledge of ABA. After completing the pretest, participants in the experimental group were given immediate access to CARD eLearning, while participants in the control group were retested following a one week delay. Participants in the control group were given access to CARD eLearning after completing the second test. Finally, upon completion of CARD eLearning, participants in both groups were given a posttest.
Results revealed that both groups showed significant gains in their knowledge of ABA after completing CARD eLearning. The experimental group scored an average of 63 percent on the pretest as compared to 90 percent on the posttest. Likewise, the control group scored an average of 51 percent on the pretest, 64 percent on the second test, and after completing the CARD eLearning, scored 92 percent on the post test.
Findings suggest that the CARD eLearning program may be an effective tool for teaching family members of children with ASD the principles and procedures of ABA. If you are interested in learning more about CARD eLearning, click here.
Jang, J., Dixon, D. R., Tarbox, J., Granpeesheh, D., Kornack, J., & de Nocker, Y. (2012). Randomized trial of an eLearning program for training family members of children with autism in the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 852-856. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2011.11.004
Granpeesheh, D., Tarbox, J., Dixon, D. R., Peters, C. A., Thompson, K., Kenzer, A. (2010). Evaluation of an eLearning tool for training behavioral therapists in academic knowledge of applied behavior analysis. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 11-17. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2009.07.004