Child Psychology: Parent Involvement in Autism Therapy
Autism is a mental condition that affects children’s ability to socialize, communicate, and show emotion. According to child psychology literature, millions of families are struggling all across the globe because of the challenges posed by autism. Many parents experience difficulty in communicating with their own children. Can parents’ getting involved soon after the child’s diagnosis help make a difference?
Autism Spectrum Disorders in Canadian Children
To date, one in 68 children is affected by autism spectrum disorders. In fact, autism is the most commonly diagnosed and fastest growing neurological disorder in Canada. Half of the children with this diagnosis acquire intellectual disabilities, while 10% do not acquire speech abilities at all. Because it is a spectrum of disorders, each child may present different symptoms and in varying degrees. To date, there still is no permanent cure.
Can Early Parental Intervention Make a Difference?
One study proposes the importance of early parental mediation in the therapy of children diagnosed with autism (when the child is 2-5 years old).
The parents of the families who participated in the trial underwent two sessions with a therapist every month. This went on for six months. Gradually, the sessions were reduced but their homework continued. Parents who participated watched videos of themselves interacting with their child, as a way to see how they can possibly improve their communication skills. This also allowed them to assess when and how their child interacts with them. The goal of the study is to assist grownups to self-learn and be more self-aware.
Although the effects are not dramatic, there have been some perceived improvements across the participants. In the end, the results show us that there is some long-term reduction of symptoms due to early parental intervention with the children. The truth is that we are still a long way ahead of developing highly individualized therapy programs that can create long-lasting improvements in children with autism.
You can download or see the full text of the study, Parent-mediated social communication therapy for young children with autism (PACT), on The Lancet.
Seeking Professional Child Psychology Help
Child psychology cannot always be self-taught. If you have a child diagnosed with autism, spending a lot of time with him and giving him your full attention will bring about positive outcomes. However, this isn’t always enough.
Our licensed therapists here at Positive Kids are more than capable of helping you and your child get the proper treatment and rehabilitation that you need. We guarantee that you will see improvement in your child’s affect, behavior, mood, and ability to communicate with you and others.
Feel free to reach out to our child psychology experts to learn more about this disorder, how to deal with it, and how you and your child can get on the right therapy program immediately.