Intensive Parent Training in Rural Central Nebraska
Smith Tejral, Torri
UNMC - Munroe-Meyer Institute
Presently, the majority of counties in Nebraska are considered Mental Health Shortage Areas by the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration. Due to this shortage of mental health professionals, there is a significant lack of services available to children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Based upon data collected in 2006 by the Nebraska Department of Education, there are currently over 1300 children in the state verified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. the purpose of the project is to develop an intensive parent training program in three rural communities in central Nebraska (Lexington, Kearney and North Platte). the training would also be available to professionals, school personnel and care providers. in addition to being located within the rural communities, child care would be provided to ease parent's difficulty in attending sessions. the child care would be provided on-site and would be supervised by a trained graduate student. in addition to childcare, an interpreter would also be provided during the training session to address the need of Spanish-speaking families. There would be no fee for attending the training or for childcare while attending training sessions. the Autism Parent Training Program would consist of 10 weekly or bi-weekly sessions to address a number of areas relevant to children with an ASD. Topics covered during the sessions will include: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Components of Effective Treatment Programs, Reinforcement, Discrete Trial Training, Managing Problem Behaviors, Teaching in the Natural Environment, Working with Professionals: Creating a Team, and Accessing Additional Services: Medicaid Waiver. Two additional topics will be determined based upon a needs assessment that will be completed in each training location.