Increasing Independent Self-Care in Autistic Children through Telehealth Parent Coaching


  • Alana Walker MacEwan University


Autistic Children can struggle to perform independent self-care behaviours and can overexert caretakers as a result. The long-term effect of this overexertion is burnout. To address this problem, we will recruit between one and three child-parent dyads to participate in a six to eight week long clinical trial as informed by the practice of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). The children in these dyads will have a deficit in the frequency of the independent performance of one of the following self-care behaviours: hygiene, sleeping, or eating. Then, we will use telehealth parent coaching to teach parents to implement chaining interventions with their children. We will guide parents and children through the chaining intervention for one hour per week for six to eight weeks while taking data on the child's independence across steps and taking data on the parent's correct implementation of the intervention. Between sessions, parents will continue to implement the intervention. Upon session cessations, the data will be organized into graphs which will demonstrate the change in frequency of independent self-care behaviours performed by the children over the course of the study, and these graphs will be analyzed. We expect that this chaining intervention will increase the frequency of the respective independent self-care behaviours from each of the children. If possible, an across-participants analysis will be performed to better conceptualize the effectiveness of the performed interventions, and a relevant conclusion will be provided.

Department: Psychology

Faculty Mentors: Dr. Russ Powell and Miranda Macauley