Coping with challenging behaviours of children with autism: effectiveness of brief training workshop for frontline staff in special education settings

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BackgroundThe present study examined the effectiveness of three staff training elements: psychoeducation (PE) on autism, introduction of functional behavioural analysis (FBA) and emotional management (EM), on the reaction of challenging behaviours for frontline staff towards children with autism in Hong Kong special education settings.MethodsA sample of 311 frontline staff in educational settings was recruited to one of the three conditions: control, PE-FBA and PE-FBA-EM groups. A total of 175 participants completed all three sets of questionnaires during pre-training, immediate post-training and 1-month follow-up.ResultsFindings showed that the one-session staff training workshop increased staff knowledge of autism and perceived efficacy but decrease helping behavioural intention.ConclusionsIn spite of the limited effectiveness of a one-session staff training workshop, continued staff training is still necessary for the improvement of service quality. Further exploration on how to change emotion response of staff is important.

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