Autism Information for Families

This video preview of Discovering Behavioral Intervention reflects the many questions and decisions that parents of children with autism face. These include:

  • What can I do to help my child with autism?
  • What is the best early intervention strategy for autism?
  • Can I be more involved in the autism intervention process?
  • How can I advocate for my child in medical and school systems?
  • What are the legal rights of children with autism?

Researchers and child development experts at UMass Medical School’s Shriver Center partnered with parents of children with autism to help answer these important questions. We understand that recommendations and terminology from professionals can often be confusing, and decisions have to be made quickly and early to help children with autism reach their full potential.

Moving Beyond the Diagnosis

Generally speaking, children on the autism spectrum have impairments in communication, social interaction, and behavior. Treatment for children with autism is tailored specifically to the needs of the child and usually involves some form of behavioral intervention, primarily applied behavior analysis, also called ABA.

Sorting through the sheer volume of information about autism and applied behavior analysis on the internet and elsewhere can be confusing and contradictory. Moving forward confidently, and understanding what you are learning, is crucial — for your child and your entire family.

Discovering Behavioral Intervention: A Parent's Interactive Guide to Applied Behavior Analysis was designed with all of this in mind. Discovering Behavioral Intervention is a 10-module online learning guide created by and for parents of children on the autism spectrum. Parents of six children with autism serve as trusted guides. By sharing their stories throughout the modules, the guides help parents navigate the sometimes-complicated world of autism and behavioral intervention using real-life situations.

The training uses a mix of family-friendly text, videos, interactive graphics, and immersion exercises to teach why ABA is so commonly recommended and how it should be conducted. Parents also learn how to advocate for and secure high-quality behavioral services, and to effectively monitor and evaluate their child's progress, so they can have a powerful voice in their child's development.

Discovering Behavioral Intervention: Autism Support For You and Your Child

As children with autism spectrum disorder develop, their lives are full of challenging transitions, and service options may vary over time, based on the child's needs. Whether you are the parent of a recently diagnosed child or of an older child still in the education system, Discovering Behavioral Intervention can help you. Family members — including aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other caregivers — may also find that Discovering Behavioral Intervention helps them better interact with your child.

How Discovering Behavioral Intervention Can Help You

With Discovering Behavioral Intervention, you will begin learning about autism and services available for children with autism. This online program introduces you to a wide range of topics:

  • Autism and the autism spectrum disorder diagnosis
  • Applied behavior analysis, including the language and key concepts used by professionals in the field
  • The experience and successes of ABA from the perspective of six parent guides
  • Videos and stories demonstrating how children with autism can learn through ABA
  • Tools for assessing a child's behavior — especially challenging behaviors
  • What parents need to know about partnering with professionals, including behavioral intervention, early intervention, and school-based professionals, as well as board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs)
  • How to navigate the world of professional autism treatment services
  • Information on legal rights for children with autism, including state and federal laws regarding children with special needs, so that parents of children with autism can effectively participate in the development of service plans and individual education plans (IEPs) for their children
  • Insight and skills that will help you discover your child’s greatest potential

About DBI: Rigorous Research, Dedicated Child Development Professionals

Discovering Behavioral Intervention is the result of evidence-based, rigorously tested research and was created by a team of child development experts who are dedicated to helping parents of children with autism. The team included scientists, course developers, graphic designers, instructional designers, and parent advisors. Their work comprises 10 modules..

Module 1:   Introduction to Discovering Behavioral Intervention: A Parent's Interactive Guide to ABA

Module 2:   Basics of ABA

Module 3:   Building Skills with ABA – Part I

Module 4:   Building Skills with ABA – Part II

Module 5:   Assessing Behavior

Module 6:   Interventions for Challenging Behaviors

Module 7:   Collecting and Using Behavioral Data

Module 8:   Partnering with ABA Professionals

Module 9:   Advocating for ABA Services

Module 10: Behavioral Interventions and the IEP – What Parents Need to Know

Learn More

Discovering Behavioral Intervention is an important educational tool for every parent of a child or children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. You can choose the pace that's right for your family. Our six months of 24/7 access will allow you to explore the depths of material over time as you gain confidence with applied behavior analysis and your child develops.