Implementing structured consultation with autism early intervention practitioners
Keen, D., Paynter, J., Simpson, K., Sulek, R., & Trembath, D
Background: Implementation of evidence-based practices with fidelity during early intervention is important in achieving positive outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder. However, uptake with fidelity has been poor in community settings. Traditional professional development approaches have done little to change practice. This has stimulated interest in researching the use of structured consultation to address this challenge.
Method: In this study, we used a single case experimental design with multiple baselines across participants to investigate the effects of structured consultation on the use of descriptive praise. Participants were 4 early intervention professional and paraprofessional staff, 1 in the role of consultant and 3 consultees.
Results: All consultees learned to implement descriptive praise with fidelity and maintained improvements at follow-up. All participants rated the professional development program based on structured consultation as socially valid.
Conclusions: Structured consultation improved treatment fidelity and was acceptable to staff. Replication on a larger scale is recommended.