A Behavioral Intervention Program for Families of Autistic Adults

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Date Posted

Research Study Description

Caregivers of autistic adults report having limited access to resources that aid in supporting their child and helping them lead more independent lives. These concerns are exacerbated when considering the prevalence of challenging behaviors that can interfere autistic adults’ quality of life. There is a need for interventions designed to teach caregivers strategies that address challenging behaviors, as well as promote independence. The Research Units in Behavioral Intervention (RUBI) program is an evidence-based, low-intensity manualized intervention, initially developed for parents of autistic children ages 3–14 and co-occurring challenging behavior. The proposed study utilizes the Discover, Design/Build, Test (DDBT) framework, which combines user-centered design and implementation science, to collaboratively and iteratively redesign RUBI intervention content with community stakeholders (i.e. autistic adults, their caregivers, their providers) to ensure the feasibility, acceptability, and appropriateness of the redesigned intervention. Iterative quantitative and qualitative methods will be conducted with n = 30 stakeholders to identify targets for RUBI redesign and recommendations will be provided for modifications to RUBI sessions to address the needs of the autistic adult population, their caregivers, and their providers. As a final step, the redesigned intervention will be piloted with n = 10 autistic adults and their caregivers. Development of this protocol would offer autistic adults and their families a tool to help promote adaptive skill development and decrease behaviors that may interfere with autistic individuals engaging in desired community activities and living independently.

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