A controlled trial of a training course for parents of children with suspected autism spectrum disorder

J Pediatr. 2005 Sep;147(3):335-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2005.03.056.


Objective: To evaluate a training course for parents, designed to help them understand autism spectrum disorder and to facilitate social communication with their young child.

Study design: Controlled trial for 51 children aged 24 to 48 months, whose parents received either immediate intervention or delayed access to the course. Outcome was measured 7 months after recruitment in parents' use of facilitative strategies, stress, adaptation to the child; and in children's vocabulary size, behavior problems, and social communication skills.

Results: Taking into account scores at recruitment, child's level of ability, diagnostic grouping, and the interval between assessments, a significant advantage was found for the intervention group in parents' observed use of facilitative strategies and in children's vocabulary size.

Conclusions: The training course is well received by parents and has a measurable effect on both parents' and children's communication skills.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aptitude
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Social Facilitation
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome