Parent Coaching in Early Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Brief Report

Melanie Pellecchia*, David S. Mandell, Rinad S. Beidas, Carl J. Dunst, Liza Tomczuk, Jeannette Newman, Lisa Zeigler, Aubyn C. Stahmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Coaching caregivers of young children on the autism spectrum is a critical component of parent-mediated interventions. Little information is available about how providers implement parent coaching for children on the autism spectrum in publicly funded early intervention systems. This study evaluated providers’ use of parent coaching in an early intervention system. Twenty-five early intervention sessions were coded for fidelity to established caregiver coaching techniques. We found low use of coaching techniques overall, with significant variability in use of coaching across providers. When providers did coach caregivers, they used only a few coaching strategies (e.g., collaboration and in vivo feedback). Results indicate that targeted training and implementation strategies focused on individual coaching components, instead of coaching more broadly, may be needed to improve the use of individual coaching strategies. A focus on strengthening the use of collaboration and in vivo feedback may be key to improving coaching fidelity overall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Early Intervention
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • caregiver coaching
  • early intervention
  • parent coaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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