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Increasing collaboration and knowledge in school communities to enhance outcomes for autistic students

Amy Jane Griffiths (Attallah College of Educational Studies, Chapman University College of Educational Studies, Orange, California, USA)
Diana Baker (Attallah College of Educational Studies, Chapman University College of Educational Studies, Orange, California, USA)
John Brady (Attallah College of Educational Studies, Chapman University College of Educational Studies, Orange, California, USA)
Kelly Kennedy (Attallah College of Educational Studies, Chapman University College of Educational Studies, Orange, California, USA)
Anaiza Valladolid (Attallah College of Educational Studies, Chapman University College of Educational Studies, Orange, California, USA)
Rachel Wiegand (Attallah College of Educational Studies, Chapman University College of Educational Studies, Orange, California, USA)
Raquel Delgado (Attallah College of Educational Studies, Chapman University College of Educational Studies, Orange, California, USA)

Advances in Autism

ISSN: 2056-3868

Article publication date: 1 December 2022

3

Abstract

Purpose

This paper describes a case study of a developmental program evaluation on the Autism Community Toolkit, a collaborative skills training program for parents and school professionals. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the training on participants’ knowledge, competence and perceived collaboration; and potential improvements to the training program.

Design/methodology/approach

The program included multiple training sessions for families and school professionals, designed to educate participants on autism, evidence-based interventions and to increase home-school communication and collaboration. Data collection methods included pre- and post-measures and feedback forms.

Findings

Results indicated that the training program was beneficial for participants overall. Pre- and posttest measures indicated growth in knowledge and competency in autism interventions. While there were no statistically significant differences in the quantitative measure of collaboration, qualitative results suggest that participants reported increased collaboration posttraining.

Practical implications

Overall, the training program was effective, and the ongoing implementation assessment was conducive to continuous improvement. The authors also discuss difficulties with implementation and recommendations for future intervention implementation.

Originality/value

This case study provides practical information about creating, evaluating and improving a unique intervention designed to support school–home collaboration.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Financial support: This study was funded by the Unihealth Foundation and The Thompson Policy Institute on Disability.Conflicts of interest: None.Data availability statement: The data supporting this study’s findings are available from the corresponding author, [author initials], upon reasonable request.Human subjects ethics: This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Chapman University (Approval Number: 1516H087).

Citation

Griffiths, A.J., Baker, D., Brady, J., Kennedy, K., Valladolid, A., Wiegand, R. and Delgado, R. (2022), "Increasing collaboration and knowledge in school communities to enhance outcomes for autistic students", Advances in Autism, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-03-2022-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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