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Autism Support, Community, and Education in the Navajo Nation through the Diné Parents Taking Action Program (ASCEND)

What's the study about?

Would you like to learn more about autism and connect with other Diné parents/guardians who have a child on the spectrum? The Autism Support, Community, and Education in the Navajo Nation through the Diné Parents Taking Action Program (ASCEND) is an evidence-based parent education and training program – Parents Taking Action – designed by and for Diné families who have a child with autism. This program is in partnership with Tuba City Regional Health Care.

Who can participate?

Diné (Navajo) parents/guardians of a child with autism. Child must be close to 2 – 12 years old and either have an autism diagnosis or the parent/guardian strongly believes their child has autism.

What will participants be doing?

You will regularly meet with a Family Advisor (another Diné family member who has a child with autism) in person at Tuba City Regional Health Care, somewhere else in the community, or virtually via Zoom or another video conference platform. There are 12 lessons total that are related to your child’s autism such as understanding the autism diagnosis and learning evidence-based approaches to manage behaviors for children. For the project’s evaluation, you will be asked to complete 3 surveys about your use of developmental services and your child’s functioning. Each survey will take about 45 minutes. You will also be asked to take part in a focus group or interview to discuss your views on the program and how it can be improved. Your total time commitment for the lessons and evaluation will be 15 to 23 hours.

Why is this important?

This project will fill a critical need for culturally responsive individual- and group-based parent education and training for Diné families that have a child with autism in and around the Navajo Nation, where no programming of this type currently exists.

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