It has been demonstrated that parents of children with ASD can effectively implement behavioral interventions strategies with a high degree of fidelity
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disorder that can cause difficulty in communication and ability of a person to interact with his surrounding, it can also cause difficulty in thinking and grabbing information quickly. It has a broad range of presentation and levels of severity.
The presence of ASD in the family can have a significant effect on the parents and it can also be too stressful for them to handle their child in such situation. Families go through a lot of difficulty as they also have to focus on the child’s development as well as his quality of life along with his ASD. Difficulties can arise across a range of areas, including behavior, communication, sleep, eating, personal care and independent living skills. Because of the child’s such behavior and his sensory activities it can lead to various difficulties to the family such as leaving the child and going for shopping, visiting restaurants or activities such as visiting the dentist to cure dental problems or going to hospital can be a bit difficult to undertake.
Family is the key factor in physical and mental development and that the child-family relationship is two-way as parents influence the child, which in turn influences the parents. Parents are also “experts” in their child’s life, they know it better than anyone and can provide any information that will be valuable in their child’s education and therapeutic approach.
If a parent if educated properly on this topic of ASD it can act as the first step towards acceptance and empowerment of the child. This can act as the best advice and step to intervene which a parent can take in order to understand the child and help him live a normal and comfortable life. The goals of these intervention models are typically to reduce specific childhood behavior problems, to improve disorder specific skills (e.g., communication, social skills), and/or to enhance parenting skills and competence. If the parents are involved in the treatment, then it can play a good decisive role to achieve better outcomes from the treatment. outcomes from the treatment.
Benefits of Parent Training
Efficiency of Services Research findings support the benefits of Parent training and education in terms of increasing the quantity and availability of intervention, while requiring less time for child gains than just clinician-implemented intervention. Recent research on an intensive, short-term Parent training model demonstrates that once parents are trained to deliver intervention strategies to their child, they can also effectively train other family members and service providers, therefore, enhancing the quality of services.
It has also been demonstrated that parents of children with ASD can effectively implement behavioral interventions strategies with a high degree of fidelity. They learned to use techniques that led to reductions in problem behaviors, increased child functional communication skills, increased child joint attention skills, developed play skills, improved social skills, and reduced sleep problems.
The interactions of parent and child and the way the family functions along with the skills learned or acquired by the child and the parents, delivering specific intervention strategies and various other positive outcomes and effects on the family have been documented including the training program of the Parents.
Research documented positive impacts of Parental training on parent–child interactions. It is seen that children of parents who received the parental training intervention were more responsive to their parents’ questions and directions. Likewise, parents of children with ASD have demonstrated increased positive affect, reduced stress, and reported more time for leisure activities following participation in a Parent training and education programs.
The author is a clinical psychologist at Masina Hospital, Mumbai. Views expressed are personal.
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