Outcomes Measurement and Management: Treatment Fidelity in Clinical Training and Research: Supervising Graduate Clinicians in Autism University speech-language pathology training clinics are witnessing the same increased census in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that public and private schools and clinics have witnessed in recent years. Extraordinary growth in the pediatric autism population coincides with an extraordinary increase in demand for evidence-based practices. The ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2007
Outcomes Measurement and Management: Treatment Fidelity in Clinical Training and Research: Supervising Graduate Clinicians in Autism
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brenda C. Seal
    James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Jane C. Hilton
    James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Melanie HudsonColumn Editor
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Professional Issues & Training / Outcomes Measurement and Management
Article   |   March 01, 2007
Outcomes Measurement and Management: Treatment Fidelity in Clinical Training and Research: Supervising Graduate Clinicians in Autism
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, March 2007, Vol. 17, 13-20. doi:10.1044/aas17.1.13
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, March 2007, Vol. 17, 13-20. doi:10.1044/aas17.1.13
University speech-language pathology training clinics are witnessing the same increased census in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that public and private schools and clinics have witnessed in recent years. Extraordinary growth in the pediatric autism population coincides with an extraordinary increase in demand for evidence-based practices. The focus of this article is on training graduate students in procedures that adhere to tests of treatment fidelity, and although we address these procedures in autism, a high-incidence clinical population, the relevance for all students and other populations should be apparent.
Treatment fidelity is defined as “adherence to predetermined performance standards” for specific treatment interventions (Robertson & Weismer, 1999, p. 1241). Treatment fidelity is a concern in all clinical interventions, but it is particularly critical in disorder areas where empirical evidence for one approach or another is lacking. Such is the case with childhood autism. The shortage of empirical evidence for a single intervention for all children with ASD has been widely reported (American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society, 2000; the Autism Society of America, n.d.; Council for Exceptional Children, 2003; Division 2, Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, 2002; National Alliance of Autism Research, 2006; National Institutes of Health, 2005; National Research Council, 2001).
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