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Abstract

This outreach program involved training eight graduate and 19 undergraduate students to create evidence-based communication supports for families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the context of a two-course sequence on ASD. During the training program, ten families in rural Appalachia benefited from our services. Student and family satisfaction data with the outreach program was highly positive. Undergraduate and graduate university students participating in the program met or partially met 97% of their goals set at the beginning of each semester. Undergraduate students’ self-ratings of their own knowledge about material covered in the course were significantly higher than their confidence in applying their knowledge about the materials. Thematic analyses of students’ comments about their experiences revealed that the hands-on experience and opportunities to create materials and collaborate with each other were among the aspects of the program they liked most. The value of outreach programs to foster training of undergraduate and graduate students through community connections will be discussed.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.30707/TLCSD3.1Benigno

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