Program Exposition and Reports

Submit a Poster Proposal

Proposals due: Friday, June 18

Early submissions are encouraged!

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Category Description

This category of poster presentation is included to serve the purpose of allowing educators, service providers, and other agencies affiliated with autism services to showcase practices that may have value to others in the field of autism service. The standards for these posters are not solely based on quality of evidence.

This category can include quasi-experimental or descriptive studies based on verbal reports/rating scales, however, such studies need to demonstrate reasonable attempts to verify validity of verbal reports. Assessment instruments that have reported reliability/validity are preferred. Preference will be given to reports that include practice-related data and direct measures demonstrating practice effectiveness.

Submission Criteria

  1. Program exposition and reports poster submissions will need to include references of published evidence (citations) for the model in relation to established practice. Consideration will be given to the degree to which empirical studies supporting the practice are available. For instance, empirical reviews will summarize peer-reviewed research and must include the following components:
    1. Rationale for program development: identification of component issues. The objective of the literature review must be clearly stated.
    2. Literature search: identification of empirical research relevant to the program including a summary of the relevant literature. These include a review of scholarly articles, books, and other empirical sources.
    3. Studies using rating scales/verbal report as assessment instruments should report the psychometric properties (reliability and validity) of the instruments. Preference will be given to those who report this information.
    4. Interpretation: findings and conclusions of literature reviewed and how the literature supports the development of the program.
  2. Research design is not required; however, quantitative descriptions of aspects of the program, such as demographics (number of students served, staffing patterns, etc.) as well as baseline and outcome data (performance of students or clients) are required. Preference will be given to exposition poster submissions that provide quantitative data.

Sample Proposal

Title of Poster Presentation: Feasibility of eLearning for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Primary Presenter Contact: Melissa Easton

Role: Graduate student

Additional Presenter Name: Dr. Caitlyn Malvern

Role: Assistant Professor, Special Education Program

School District/Intermediate Unit/Agency: East University

Poster Description/Topic: This poster provides the results of a study to investigate the utilization of an eLearning program designed for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Parents were recruited through social media, word-of-mouth, and research advertisements on Autism Speaks and East University research study websites to enroll in an online course containing basic information on ASDs, including introductions to autism, treatments, behaviorism, stress management, and navigating systems. The major outcomes included utilization, knowledge levels and knowledge gains, as well as user satisfaction.

Supporting Evidence for Program or Practice: Evidence-based services for families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are failing to keep pace with increased identification and family need. Parent training in behavioral strategies is generally regarded as effective in the ASD literature (Matson, Mahan, & Matson, 2009), but most training has been done in a face-to-face format. Remote service delivery for parents has been proposed as a vehicle for overcoming many of the current barriers for families in accessing resources and support (e.g., Steiner, Koegel, Koegel, & Ence, 2012; Wainer & Ingersoll, 2013). The literature on ASD remote learning and eLearning indicates potential for success in educating parents, as shown by increased parent knowledge (Hamad, Serna, Morrison, & Fleming, 2010; Jang et al., 2012), as well as in improving skill level and child’s expressive verbal language (Nefdt, Koegel, Singer, & Gerber, 2010). High parent satisfaction with ASD eLearning has been reported (Hamad et al., 2010; Jang et al., 2012; Nefdt et al., 2010). However, utilization of ASD eLearning is less clear, with one study showing approximately 60% completion with a majority professionals/paraprofessionals (Hamad et al., 2010), one study showing 80% completion with high-need families (Nefdt et al., 2010), and one study that did not report completion (Jang et al., 2012). Given the initial outcomes from previous studies on ASD eLearning for parents, with promising knowledge and satisfaction results but less clear utilization, there is a need to further investigate these results before widespread investment in and dissemination of online learning materials is encouraged.

Outcomes: Outcomes include parent utilization of, satisfaction with, and knowledge levels/gains in the eLearning for Autism course. In addition, for a small subset of participants who completed a survey, parent and child demographics, parent-reported child symptom severity levels, parent stress (using the Parental Stress Scale [Berry & Jones, 1995] and the Autism Parenting Stress Index [APSI; Silva & Schalock, 2012]), and parent self-efficacy (using an adapted version of the Early Intervention Parenting Self-Efficacy Scale [EIPSES; Guimond, Wilcox, & Lamorey, 2008]) are described.

Data Display: Data will be displayed in tables (demographics, knowledge levels and gains, satisfaction, behavioral concerns) and graphs (utilization).