October 26, 2016

Training parents of autistic children reduces symptom severity

Research recently published in The Lancet concludes that autistic children "show long-term symptom reduction after a randomised controlled trial of early intervention in autism spectrum disorder" when their parents received "intensive training" during the child's early years.

The research paper can be read here

It concludes with the statement: "On the basis of these results, we are now able to support the use of the PACT [Pre-school Autism Communication Trial] intervention for reducing symptoms of autism in young children, a revision of our initial views and consistent with the results of a subsequent UK NICE meta-analysis".

The study focused on parents of children with severe autism, who were often unable to communicate verbally with their parents. The intensive training included activities such as parents watching a video of them interacting with their child and then, with the aid of communication specialists, identifying moments when the child was attempting to play or interact with their parents and developing an understanding of how to detect and embrace these moments effectively in the future.