Project staff worked with professionals in Saudi Arabia to establish and promote the provision of high quality programs and the use of evidence-based practices for learners with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Building on the telemedicine format of training and service delivery for learners with autism being established by our colleagues Vismara and Rogers (2008), a three-phase program was utilized.
Phase 1: Initial Planning and Needs Assessment
The purposes of this phase were to: a) gather the information about the Saudi service system, Saudi culture, and current services upon which to base a professional development model that would provide evidence-based interventions for learners with ASD and their families; b) establish a strategic planning team that would plan the organizational infrastructure necessary for an ongoing system of professional development and evidence-based intervention; and c) gather information about the specific intervention/service needs of the individuals with ASD, their families, and their service providers.
Phase 2: Adaptation of the NPDC and ESDM Interventions for Implementation in Saudi Arabia
The purposes of this phase were to adapt and translate (both linguistically and culturally) the materials developed by NPDC.
Phase 3: Pilot Implementation of NPDC and ESDM in Two Sites
The purpose of this phase was to study, in a formative way, the implementation process for two sites, with the intention of using this information to refine the adapted NPDC and ESDM interventions for the Saudi contents.