Distance education for parents of children with autism found effective

Feb 01, 2010

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC (February 1, 2010) — Through the use of instructional DVDs, parents of children with autism can learn how to teach their child to communicate and improve their behavior, according to research published in the January 2010 issue of The Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.

Family members play a central role in the education and treatment of with . However, training parents in appropriate techniques can provide unique challenges.

Often, mothers and fathers are not available at the same time to participate in training. Contemporary work schedules no longer conform to a traditional 9 to 5 schedule, further complicating efforts to help parents with their child. And, many families are simply too far away from training opportunities to participate on a regular basis. Providing with the type of flexibility they need to participate in training is often beyond the capability of most of these programs.

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (Nicolette Nefdt, Robert Koegel, George Singer and Michael Gerber) explored whether providing training to parents through DVDs could help bridge this gap. The good news is that parents did improve their skills through watching the training videos, and there were improvements in as well.

"Many parents of children with ASD are motivated and able to implement evidenced based intervention with minimal support," said researcher Nicolette Nefdt. "Once provided with a rationale, step by step instructions and video examples, parents were able to change their behavior and begin teaching their child to communicate. Parents who completed the program commented mostly on the ease and flexibility of use of a program such as this one, the value of the video examples and the enjoyment of working with their child".

"This is very exciting to us, as we are now able to help many more people more quickly than we could otherwise," said co-author Robert Koegel.

Explore further: 'Ice Bucket Challenge' passes $100 mn mark

More information: The article "The use of a self-directed learning program to provide introductory training in pivotal response treatment to parents of children with autism" is available free for a limited time at pbi.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/12/1/23

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Children's IQs go up when parents learn

Feb 18, 2008

The IQs of preschool-aged children who belong to low-income families improved after parents took a child-learning course, University of Oregon experts said.

Empty nest syndrome may not be bad after all, study finds

Feb 21, 2008

One day they are crawling, the next day they are driving and then suddenly they aren’t kids anymore. As children reach adulthood, the parent-child relationship changes as parents learn to adapt to newly independent children. ...

Mental disorders in parents linked to autism in children

May 05, 2008

Parents of children with autism were roughly twice as likely to have been hospitalized for a mental disorder, such as schizophrenia, than parents of other children, according to an analysis of Swedish birth and hospital records ...

Recommended for you

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

Mind over matter for people with disabilities

Aug 26, 2014

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

User comments : 0