Assessing the Social Validity of a Telepractice Training and Coaching Intervention

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© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Developing communication skills is critical for all young children, especially for those receiving early intervention (EI) services. Thus, many researchers have investigated evidence-based practices for teaching social communication skills. In an attempt to minimize the gap between research and practice, research investigating training caregivers to use communication teaching strategies has been conducted and replicated. In many studies, interventions have been delivered by researchers rather than natural change agents. The purpose of this study was to assess the social validity of a caregiver-implemented communication strategies intervention program in which the caregiver was trained and coached by a natural change agent, the family’s EI service provider, via telepractice. We analyzed multiple sources of data to investigate the social validity of the intervention program. We found that some aspects of the program had high levels of social validity (e.g., goals and outcomes). Other aspects of the program had lower levels of social validity (e.g., procedures and technology use). The findings, limitations, and implications for practice and research are discussed.

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