In-Home & Parent Training

What are the services that are available to help families?

HELP! My student is doing well at school but cannot function at HOME!

Many students that are served with an Autism Spectrum Disorder require additional related services to help build a consistent home-school connection. This is so that deficits in behavior and communication can be strengthened over time through those people that the student comes in contact with on a day-to-day basis. For this need, we can look to provide two related services: In-Home and Community- Based Training and/or Parent/Family Training. While In-Home and Community-Based Training and Parent/Family Training are similar, they are two separate related services. It is possible for a family to receive one service and not the other, and each one must be addressed separately in order to determine the need.

Why the need for parent training?

According to Bearss, Johnson, Handen, Smith, and Scahill (2012), the need parent training for children with an Autism Spectrum disorder is well founded due to the fact that disruptive behaviors effect this population 50-70%! These bahaviors greatly interfere with the acquisition and performance of many daily living skills that hinder a high quality of life for the child and their affected families.

In-Home/Community Based & Parent/Family Training

What is In-Home/Community Based Training?

In-Home and Community-Based Training involve working directly with the students in a variety of non-school settings including the student’s home and/or other community settings. The focus of this training is to assist students with acquisition of social/behavioral skills and facilitate maintenance and generalization of learned skills from school to home; or home to school, and/or the community (McWilliam, Cripe, Hanft, Sheldon & Rush, 2005).

What is Parent/Family Training?

Parent/Family Training is designed to assist the families of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the following areas: understanding the unique learning styles and needs of their children; providing the family with the skills necessary for their child to succeed in the home/community setting; giving information regarding resources; and helping to facilitate carryover of In-Home and Community-Based Training (Koegel, Symon, & Koegel, 2002).

What does it look like?

What happens during In-Home/Community Based Training and/or Parent/Family Training?

Goals and objectives are identified and a time frame is established that includes (,2014):

  • location

  • frequency of service

  • amount of time per session

  • duration of services

Services given should be based on peer-reviewed, research based strategies.

Some areas of concern that are typically addressed during training are: increasing communication, potty training, setting routines in the home, going to the grocery store, etc.

This sounds GREAT! I think my student needs it...

How do I get my student to qualify for this service?

A diagnostician will complete a Needs Assessment to evaluate a need for In-Home and Community Based Training and/or Parent/Family Training and to establish goals and objectives. Timeline for completion of this assessment is within 60 calendar days after parental consent is given.

The Needs Assessment is completed by using both formal and informal measures from a variety of sources that may include parent input, teacher recommendations, classroom observation, physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior.

Once the Needs Assessment is completed, a Related Service Report containing recommendations is be given to the ARD committee for consideration of services and goals and objectives.

Alternatives to a Parent/Family Trainer

Are there any alternatives to having a trainer come to the home?

Of course!

Districts often provide night training for parents to attend that are based around specific topics of discussion. These discussions are given by professionals in the field and are often hired guest speakers from outside of the district.

Also! There are many web-based training modules. A free, evidence-based resource is This resource offers many training videos on a variety of evidence-based topics including: functional behavior assessments, increasing lanugage in the home, and visual supports for the home.


Autism Internet Modules. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2014, from

Bearss, K., Johnson, C., Handen, B., Smith, T., & Scahill, L. (2013). A pilot study of parent training in young children with autism spectrum disorders and disruptive behavior. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 43(4), 829-840.

Koegel, R. L., Symon, J.B., & Koegel, L.K. (2002). Parent education for families of children with autism living in geographically distant areas. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 4(2), 88-103.

McWilliam, R., Cripe, J. W., Hanft, B., Sheldon, M., & Rush, D. (2005). Questions for eliciting family interests, priorities, concerns, and everyday routines and activities. Chapel Hill, NC: National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill.