Iterative Redesign of a Behavioral Skills Training Program for Use in Educational Settings
- Karen Bearss, PhD, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Jill Locke, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Speech and Hearing Sciences
Approximately 50% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit disruptive behaviors such as tantrums, aggression, and noncompliance that significantly impact social, adaptive, and academic functioning. The RUBI program is an evidence-based parent-mediated intervention that improves disruptive behavior in children with ASD. RUBI is offered to caregivers in specialty mental health clinics, which requires families to overcome access barriers such as provider referrals, transportation, wait lists, and health insurance. Considering schools serve as the primary intervention setting for children with ASD, and teachers and school staff often struggle to address challenging behavior, there is an opportunity to meaningfully improve care by adapting RUBI for delivery in schools. As a low-intensity treatment model, RUBI in Educational Settings (RUBIES) would be responsive to barriers to implementation commonly seen in many school-based practices for children with ASD – namely their high resource demands (i.e. materials, staff, training, data collection). Adaptations to RUBI are a necessary prerequisite to transition the program from delivery in clinic to school and from parent to school staff. To address these needs, this proposal uses the Discover, Design/Build, Test (DDBT) framework, which leverages user-centered design and implementation science to redesign RUBI, ensuring the modified intervention meets the needs of end users and is usable and relevant within a context (elementary schools) that promotes ease of access to care. The culmination of this project will be an end user vetted RUBIES curriculum in preparation for a large-scale implementation trial in public elementary schools.