Lashanna Brunson, M.S., BCBA
West Virginia University
Center for Excellence in Disabilities
Purpose of PITA-T
• Provide access to Applied Behavior
Analysis (ABA) therapy to families of
children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
in rural Appalachia
ABA and Autism
Evidence based best practice
Structured learning environment
Break large skills into small components
Individualized programming based on
needs
• Data-based decision making
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27 Board Certified
Behavior Analysts
1
15
1
4
2
2
2
12 Potential Practitioners
1
14
1
1
4
2
2
2
Barriers to Service Delivery
• Technological Barriers
• Less computer access in rural areas
• Relatively poor internet connectivity
• 45% of West Virginians use internet connections
with speeds below federal minimum broadband
standards (Speed Matters Report, 2010)
Barriers to Service Delivery
• Economic Barriers
• 17.5% of WV residents live in poverty
• Extremely expensive
Overcoming Barriers
• Teach parents to implement discrete trial
training (DTT) techniques
• Behavior analysts can reach a larger
geographical area
• Use asynchronous telecommunication to
provide instructions and feedback
• Eliminates need for high-speed internet
Our Families
• Children under 5 years old with an
Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Live in:
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West Virginia
Kentucky
Pennsylvania
Ohio
Virginia
Maryland
The Process
• Phone screening
• Intake
• Assessments
• Materials
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Video camera
Tripod
Memory cards
Postage paid envelopes
The Process
• Mail training materials
• Parents record sessions and mail to staff
• Staff review sessions and mail feedback
• Exit assessments
Challenges to Implementation
• Many children not diagnosed early
• Expand eligibility age
• Share autism fact sheet
• Parental adherence to taping procedure
• Create weekly schedule
• Reminder phone calls
• Monthly drawing
Preliminary Findings
• Parents learning to implement DTT
• Feedback is necessary
• Potential for child improvements not
enough to maintain treatment efforts
• Greater adherence when video instructions
and feedback were provided
THANK YOU!
This study is supported by grant R40MC20444 from the
Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Combating Autism
Act of 2006), Health Resources and Services
Administration, Department of Health and Human
Services
 Collaboration between Center for Excellence in
Disabilities & WVU Department of Psychology
