Although the focus on early identification efforts in recent years has been effective in sharply increasing the number of children with autism receiving services in schools, those services are of uneven quality, and there is a critical need to improve access to and receipt of high quality early intervention services that are available to all children with autism, regardless of family income, race, or geographic location.
The purpose of this study is to examine three types of professional development models of training and compare their effects on child and teacher outcomes. Researchers will follow 25 children whose teachers receive only basic, non-interactive online autism training (placebo-control condition), 25 children whose teachers and parents also receive consultation followed by in-classroom teacher coaching, and 25 children whose teachers and parents receive consultation followed by web- based teacher coaching. Based on preliminary data, the researchers hypothesize that child outcomes will be higher for the two conditions that receive consultation and coaching compared to the placebo-control condition. Results from this comparative effectiveness study will help identify effective training methods for supporting teachers' implementation of evidence-based autism interventions.