Catalight Selected to Deliver Two Presentations at International Society for Autism Research (INSAR 2023)Researchers share findings about paraprofessionals and the importance of measuring wellbeing

Promo banner: International Society for Autism Research 2023

WALNUT CREEK, CA – Catalight, the nonprofit behavioral health care services provider and network manager, today announced that its researchers will be making two presentations at the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR 2023), to be held in Stockholm from May 3 – 6, 2023. Both presentations reflect Catalight’s emphasis on empirically-based individualized treatment modalities, measurable outcomes and the wellbeing of autistic people and their families.

Presentation Details

Title: An Examination of Parent’s Perspective of Paraprofessionals Delivering Direct Applied Behavior Analysis
Presenting Author: Doreen Samelson, Ed.D., MSCP, Chief Clinical Officer, Catalight Research Institute
Background: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an effective and commonly used intervention supporting the skill development of autistic children and youth in the US. In the US direct ABA interventions are usually provided by a paraprofessional in a practitioner-mediated model. Despite the common use of paraprofessionals there is a dearth of studies investigating parents’ perspectives of paraprofessionals in ABA. In this study we examined parents’ perceptions of paraprofessional competency in ABA by utilizing a thematic analysis of 127 written parent responses to a satisfaction survey sent to families every six-months during intervention. The most frequent theme for both positive and negative parental perceptions of paraprofessionals was experience and knowledge.

Date and Location: Thursday, May 4, 2023, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hall AA
Abstract: 44917

Title: Measuring the Wellbeing of Autistic People and Their Families: Looking Beyond Goal Attainment in Behavioral Health Treatment
Presenting Author: Lindsey Sneed, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Vice President, Clinical Excellence, Catalight Research Institute
Background: In 2020, the Catalight Research Institute began investigating Wellbeing as a potential outcome measure for autistic people receiving behavioral health treatment. We determine Wellbeing was a meaningful measure for outcomes for this population based on extensive literature review. We were unable to locate a Wellbeing Scale that met our organizational needs (e.g., was developed for people with I/DD and was less than 20 questions). We then began to develop a suite of Wellbeing Scales (Family, Youth, & Adult) based on the available research. From there, we sought out stakeholder feedback for all scales, made the necessary updates and began to pilot the Wellbeing Scales use with a small subset of our population.

Date and Location: Friday, May 5, 2023, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hall AA
Abstract: 44852

Visit the Research and Thought Leadership section of Catalight’s website to read publications related to our goal of improving the overall wellbeing of people with developmental disabilities and their families by increasing access to care, quality of care and affordability.