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Evaluating engagement with ReThink Autism in Tasmania


Cheek, C and Woodroffe, J and Allen, P and Stephens, M, Evaluating engagement with ReThink Autism in Tasmania, International Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ISRII) 10th Scientific Meeting, 13-15 February 2019, Auckland, New Zealand (2019) [Conference Extract]

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Context: ReThink Autism is a web-based program developed in the United States, which is designed for schools and parents to use with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Results of several studies, including meta-analyses, have suggested that long-term comprehensive ABA intervention with children with ASD produces positive outcomes for intellectual functioning, language development, daily living skills, and social functioning. In 2015, the Tasmanian government committed funding to implement the program in Tasmania. A University of Tasmania research team was selected by DHHS to conduct a process evaluation of implementation in Tasmania.

Methods: A mix of purposive and sequential sampling strategies were used to derive evaluation data: qualitative interviews with educators, parents of children with ASD, and the ReThink Autism coach; a survey of educators; and analysis of usage data.

Results: 11 interviews were conducted, surveys elicited 7 respondents, and usage data was collated extending over an 18 month period, September 2015 - February 2017. The low response rate reflected the low uptake of the program. Schools did not want to use it for various reasons: it did not suit the individual; the teacher did not have time to implement in conjunction with the standard curriculum; use added to workload; and parents did not have time or capacity to use it at home.

Conclusions: In Tasmania, the program was not a ‘natural’ fit for schools. This incongruence reflected the ‘top down’ approach to implementation.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:autism, schooling, internet interventions
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:People with disability
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)
UTAS Author:Cheek, C (Dr Colleen Cheek)
UTAS Author:Woodroffe, J (Dr Jessica Woodroffe)
UTAS Author:Allen, P (Dr Penny Allen)
UTAS Author:Stephens, M (Ms Miranda Stephens)
ID Code:131498
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Rural Clinical School
Deposited On:2019-03-20
Last Modified:2019-06-03

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