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Parental involvement can be key for autistic children

How involved parents are when it comes to helping their kids deal with challenges at a young age can be very impactful. It can particularly be so when their child has autism.

A recent study points to higher levels of parental involvement at a young age regarding communication/interaction for kids with autism possibly leading to better outcomes for such kids.

The study looked at a trial that happened several years ago. The trial involved over 100 children with autism symptoms. The children were between the ages of 2 and 4. In the trial, some of the children just received the standard therapy for communication/interaction issues, while for the others, efforts were taken to give their parents the tools to allow for “parent-mediated intervention” regarding such issues. Specifically, for the second group, the children’s parents went through special sessions with a therapist aimed at showing them what things they could do to help their child with communication and interaction.

The recent study looked at if there were any differences between the kids in these two groups over six years after the trial happened. The study pointed to the kids whose parents were given the special sessions, generally, having lower autism symptom severity and better communication abilities with their parents than the kids who just received the normal treatment.

This raises the possibility that such parent-mediated intervention at a young age could have long-term benefits for children with autism.

Another area where it can be important for parents of autistic children to get involved early is their child’s education. What happens with things like their child’s Individualized Education Program at a young age could have long-lasting implications for their child. Now, IEP meetings can be an intimidating thing for a parent. Parents may have many questions about how they can best promote their child’s interests in such meetings. So, parents with young children with autism may want to talk with an education lawyer about what they can do to promote their child’s educational needs.

Source: CNN, “Autism study shows benefits when parents get involved,” Meera Senthilingam, Oct. 25, 2016

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