08/19/2013

WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities offering free autism training for parents

Must live in Monongalia or surrounding counties

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Parents of children with autism in Monongalia and other select counties still have time to sign up for individualized training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED).

ABA is an evidence-based practice for the treatment of autism, shown effective for reducing inappropriate behavior as well as improving communication, academic and social skills. The training is part of a research study being conducted at the CED.

The training is open to parents with children under the age of 12 who meet the diagnostic criteria for an autism spectrum disorder. To be eligible, parents must live in Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Taylor or Harrison counties in West Virginia or in Washington, Greene or Fayette counties in Pennsylvania. Parents must have high-speed internet with video streaming capabilities and be willing to drive to Morgantown for assessments and hands-on training. Following training, researchers will observe parents twice per week via webcam as they conduct teaching sessions with their children in their homes.

“One of the greatest challenges for families of children with autism is finding appropriate and affordable resources in their community,” Susannah Poe, Ed.D., co-principal investigator on the Parent-Implemented Training for Autism through Telemedicine (PITA-T) study, said. “This study offers local families an opportunity to begin individualized, intensive, evidence-based treatment quickly and with the help of well-trained coaches.”

Accessing ABA services in West Virginia is difficult because there are few board-certified behavior analysts who are accepting clients. In the past two years, the PITA-T study has provided parents with free ABA training using federal funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration. This is the final year for the PITA-T study.

“We are excited to provide face-to-face training for parents and to expand the range of eligible children,” Claire St. Peter, Ph.D., co-principal investigator on the study, said. “We hope that we are able to continue refining our training techniques, thereby improving the success of rural children with autism spectrum disorders.”

For more information or to enroll in the PITA-T study, visit www.pitat.cedwvu.org or contact Lashanna Brunson at lbrunson@hsc.wvu.edu or 304-293-4692 ext. 1144.

Parents who do not wish to participate but are looking for a behavior analyst to oversee an ABA program should visit www.bacb.com or www.trainwv.org to find a list of board-certified behavior analysts in their area.  

This study has been approved by the WVU Institutional Review Board.

-- WVU HEALTH --


13-160
For more information:
Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
johnsa@wvuhealthcare.com
md: 08-07-13

Return To News Releases