The Life Span Institute Autism Training Program: Respite Provider Training Structure and Description

Service Overview

Program Information

Respite Care provides temporary direct care and supervision for the child. The primary purpose is relief to families/caregivers of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The service is designed to help meet the needs of the primary caregiver as well as the identified child. Normal activities of daily living are considered content of the service when providing respite care, and include support in the home, after school, or at night. While this level of provider does not include the intensity of support provided by the Intensive Individual Supports provider, these individuals still require enough information to be able to implement the behavior plan; therefore Respite Providers need to be familiar with the procedures and terms used by professionals and consultants that develop programs for the clients.

Training consists of two (2) components: online informational tutorials and 3  hours of interactive lecture. Each component will be outlined below:

(1)  Online Tutorials/Interactive Lecture

Pre-Post Assessments: Training modules have been developed and piloted with over 100 individuals working with families to provide language and early skill development for children and youth with autism (Heitzman-Powell & Buzhardt, 2005). The modules require approximately 20 hours of participation with learning evaluated using pre-post assessments. Each online training module should be completed prior to coming in for Skill Fluency/Clinic Training.  Each module will then be covered in an interactive classroom session.

Tutorial I: Autism & Treatment
Tutorial II: Defining and Observing Behaviors
Tutorial III: Principles of Behavior
Tutorial IV: Stimulus Control
Tutorial V: Effective Teaching Strategies
Tutorial VI: Decreasing Behaviors: Antecedent Control
Tutorial VII: Decreasing Behaviors Using Consequences
Tutorial VIII: Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans
Tutorial IX: Teaching Social-Communication Skills with Typical Peers
Tutorial X: Pulling It All Together

(2) Workshop (3 hours)

During this workshop Respite Care providers receive additional instruction on characteristics of autism, how-to procedures for skill-building and behavior management, and how to follow the treatment plan.

Weeks 1-2
Online Workshops



Week 1

Week 2



1:00 PM-4:00 PM

Online Modules & Quizzes

Classroom Training:

Overview of Autism

Decreasing Problem Behavior

Case Management:
Maintaining Records & Identification of Community Resources