Coaching Parents of Young Children with Autism

Promoting Connection, Communication, and Learning

Sally J. Rogers, Laurie A. Vismara, and Geraldine Dawson

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April 6, 2021
ISBN 9781462545728
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324 Pages
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A growing body of evidence supports the benefits of high-quality parent interventions for building social and communication skills in 0- to 5-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). How can clinicians coach parents to effectively incorporate learning opportunities into daily routines at home? From preeminent experts, this practical book explores the role of the coach and reviews the "whats," "whys," and "how-tos" of successful collaboration with parents. Topics include structuring coaching sessions, identifying children's needs, facilitating playful engagement, and deepening parents' understanding of how they can boost skills development during everyday activities. Seventeen reproducible handouts and forms include the multipage P-ESDM Infant–Toddler Curriculum Checklist, ideal for use in telehealth assessments. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials in a convenient 8½" x 11" size.

“This book provides systematic strategies for coaching parents to support learning in young children with autism. It emphasizes how to teach parents basic behavioral principles, and includes specific examples, helpful checklists and tables, and detailed ways to address the challenges of this work. This how-to manual on collaborative coaching is a rich, supportive introduction to this important approach to working with young children with autism.”

—Catherine Lord, PhD, ABPP, George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Education, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles


“Drawing on a wealth of experience and a command of the scientific literature, Rogers, Vismara, and Dawson have crafted a unique and valuable guide. The book is filled with wisdom, practical advice, immediately usable tools, examples, and summaries of the science (to which the authors themselves have contributed greatly). It will be immediately useful to practitioners who currently provide parent coaching, as well as coaches in training. While it focuses on autism and other developmental disorders, I expect that this book will become a go-to resource for anyone who works with families of young children in home settings.”

—Samuel L. Odom, PhD, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


“The unique voice of the authors comes across—confident in the ability to help, but also realistic; flexible and creative, but also clear and organized. This book exudes enormous respect for the irreplaceable role of parents in the lives of their children, and empathy for the difficulties that parents of children with ASD can experience. It describes the significant contribution of the coach as a well-traveled guide who can provide the parent a secure base for joint, collaborative exploration. The authors emphasize the importance of the parent coach’s creativity, flexibility, commitment, and humility, and they embody these characteristics themselves.”

—David Oppenheim, PhD, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel


“An easy-to-read, user-friendly guide for early intervention practitioners. The book demonstrates how to move from a practitioner–child focus to a focus on supporting caregivers to promote children's learning within and across their daily activities. The authors bring together research about adult learning and family-centered coaching with their experiences as developers of the highly regarded Early Start Denver Model. The book provides a parent coaching toolkit for ASD that is equally relevant for preservice students and for practitioners who have been working with young children with ASD and their families for many years.”

—Dathan Rush, EdD, CCC-SLP, Director, The Family, Infant, and Preschool Program (FIPP), North Carolina

Table of Contents

1. Helping Parents Help Their Young Children with Autism: An Introduction

2. Key Practices in Coaching Parents in Parent-Implemented Interventions sample

3. Becoming a Coach: Knowledge, Characteristics, and Supports

4. The Coach’s Tools

5. Assessment, Goal Setting, and Treatment Planning

6. Parent Coaching Sessions

7. Guides for Introducing Intervention Topics and Strategies to Caregivers

8. Variations in Coaching Practices

9. Looking to the Future: Challenges and Opportunities

Appendix A. Handouts and Checklists Used Routinely in Parent Coaching Sessions

Appendix B. P-ESDM Infant–Toddler Curriculum Checklist

Appendix C. Parent-Friendly Data-Tracking Tools

References

Index


About the Authors

Sally J. Rogers, PhD, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis. She has served as president of the International Society for Autism Research and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the International Society for Autism Research. With Geraldine Dawson, Dr. Rogers developed the Early Start Denver Model, the first empirically validated comprehensive intervention for toddlers with autism, now used by parents and professionals around the world. She is coauthor of books including An Early Start for Your Child with Autism (for parents) and Early Start Denver Model for Young Children with Autism and Coaching Parents of Young Children with Autism (for professionals). Dr. Rogers has published over 200 papers, chapters, and books, and ranks in the top 1% of Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers.

Laurie A. Vismara, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, has spent her research career working closely with families with autism and contributing to the science and program development of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). She is coauthor of An Early Start for Your Child with Autism (for parents) and Coaching Parents of Young Children with Autism (for professionals). Dr. Vismara uses telehealth platforms and travels throughout the United States and internationally to help families, publicly funded programs, and universities develop ESDM in their communities.

Geraldine Dawson, PhD, is the William Cleland Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University. She directs the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. With Sally J. Rogers, Dr. Dawson developed the Early Start Denver Model, the first empirically validated comprehensive intervention for toddlers with autism. Dr. Dawson is coauthor of the parent resources What Science Tells Us about Autism Spectrum Disorder, An Early Start for Your Child with Autism, and A Parent's Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Second Edition. Her books for professionals include Early Start Denver Model for Young Children with Autism and Coaching Parents of Young Children with Autism. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; received the Distinguished Career Award from the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (Division 53 of the American Psychological Association) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Psychological Science; and ranks in the top 1% of Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers.

Audience

Early intervention specialists, early childhood educators, clinical and school psychologists, child psychiatrists, social workers, ABA specialists, speech–language pathologists, occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, and pediatricians.