Dr. Teresa Bennett and her postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Vivian Lee, are leading an investigation into the acceptability of the Family Check-up (FCU) program for caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Family Check-up is a brief, evidence-based, assessment-driven intervention that uses a strength-based and motivational interviewing approach to engage caregivers in the prevention and treatment of child emotional and behavioural problems (EBP). Although this intervention has been well studied in the United States, Dr. Bennett and other MacART members are the first research group to investigate the utility of the FCU program in Canada, in addition to its acceptability for families of children with ASD and EBP.
With support from Hamilton Health Sciences through the Research Strategic Initiatives – Request for Applications award, this feasibility project will provide invaluable insight into the critical components to consider when implementing and adapting established intervention for a new population (i.e. ASD) as well as areas that require additional consideration when embedding a new intervention into a new healthcare system. The group hopes that the study will have an impact on our understanding of how modifying and supporting parental practices may have on changing problem behaviors and other mediating factors that benefit children with ASD with EBPs in toddlerhood or early preschool years.