Partners in School: An Implementation Strategy to Promote Alignment of Evidence-Based Practices Across Home and School for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
When parents and teachers align their practices across home and school, it may optimize services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Partners in School is a multi-faceted implementation strategy designed to improve ASD services in schools. The goal is to increase parents’ and teachers’ use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and to align those EBPs across settings. We piloted Partners in School with 49 parent-teacher dyads to assess administration and the factors associated with reported fidelity to the model. Specifically, we measured the number of intervention steps both parents and teachers completed (reported alignment) and the characteristics associated with intervention alignment. Partners in School involves parent-teacher participation in a pre-consultation interview, an in-person consultation meeting, active implementation of the same EBPs in their respective settings, and a post-consultation interview. Parents and teachers also completed surveys pre- and post-consultation. On average, parents and teachers completed approximately five EBP steps on their own in their respective settings (i.e., at home or at school). Of these five steps, parents and teachers both completed three of the same EBPs steps, on average. Different factors were related to reported alignment for parents versus teachers; however, a similarity noted for both parents and teachers was that communication variables were associated with reported alignment. Our findings indicate the important role of communication in aligning stakeholders for ASD service delivery models.
Keywords: Autism; Autism services; Communication; Evidenced-based practices; Implementation science; Parent–teacher relationships; Service delivery