Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Special Education

Committee Chair

Michael R. Mayton

Committee Co-Chair

Daniel Hursh

Committee Member

Cathy Galyon Keramidas

Committee Member

Barbara Ludlow

Committee Member

Katherine Mitchem


The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that parents who have children diagnosed with autism can obtain and apply knowledge of a research-based support for their children by utilizing a prescribed, self-directed, online program, giving families another possible method of obtaining training to help meet the discrepancy that exists between need and service. The design was a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent control group, pretest-posttest design that was used to test knowledge obtained from treatment. Additionally, the researcher examined parents' application of knowledge and perceptions regarding the treatment. The results demonstrate that parents who receive training using this method can obtain and apply knowledge of a research-based support. Furthermore, participant feedback indicates parental support for this method of obtaining knowledge. The results suggest that using a self-directed, online program may serve to give families another possible method of obtaining informational training. Using this method of parental instruction may help fill a portion of the gap between the need for services and the lack of availability of services. Interventions based on the study could give parents the ability to act as their children's direct service provider to fulfill a part their intervention needs, especially when a family is facing a discrepancy between need and service.