The current prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder is 1 in 68 children, and 69% of these children do not have an intellectual disability (ASDwoID). Individuals with ASDwoID are at considerable risk for maladaptive adult outcomes (e.g., un- or underemployment), and executive functioning (EF) impairments significantly contribute to this risk. Unstuck and On Target (UOT) is the only empirically supported EF intervention specifically targeted to the needs of the ASDwoID population. It has improved both EF and social skills in children with ASDwoID in a randomized controlled trial. Despite its demonstrated success, there are significant geographical, scheduling, and financial barriers to parental adaptation of the UOT curriculum.
Goal and Innovation: The goal of this project was to develop and test e-Unstuck, an e-learning intervention that (1) provides advanced training to parents of children with ASDwoID on how to implement the evidence-based UOT curriculum at home and (2) is built on 3C’s proprietary, state-of-the-art, Dynamic e-Learning Platform, an established platform with high ratings of quality, value, usability, and feasibility from end users. e-Unstuck will make UOT more accessible to parents with geographical, scheduling, and/or financial constraints and will provide parents with key tools (e.g., video modeling, virtual simulations, personalized reports) to increase efficacious adoption of UOT principles, above and beyond those provided in the UOT manual. e-Unstuck is the first dynamically adaptive, personalized, interactive software product specifically designed to deploy an evidence-based EF intervention to parents of children with ASDwoID.
Specific Aims: We accomplished five specific aims, two in Phase I, and three in Phase II: (1) developed a prototype of e-Unstuck, (2) conducted a feasibility test of e-Unstuck with parents of children with ASDwoID between the ages of 8-12, (3) fully developed the e-Unstuck software and conduct iterative usability testing with parents of children with ASDwoID, (4) conducted a pilot efficacy test in which 110 parents of children with ASDwoID are randomly assigned to the e-Unstuck intervention or to a control condition in which they receive in-person training on the UOT curriculum, and (5) prepared e-Unstuck for commercialization.