Objective: Determine the results of 1-year Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based (DIR)/Floortime parent training in developmental stimulation of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).
Material and method: Thirty-four, two to six years old children with ASD participated. Parents were encouraged to deliver 1:1 interaction according to their child's developmental level, as they were modeled and coached. Pre-post videotapes were rated by blinded assessors.
Results: Thirty-one families completed the present study. The data showed that adding home-base DIR/Floortime intervention at the average 14.2 hours/week for one year could help 47% of the children to make good improvement (1.5 Functional Development Level, FDLs or more), with 23% making fair progression (1 FDL), and the last 29% making poor progression (0.5 FDL or less). There were significant increases in children's total Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS), and Functional Emotional Developmental Questionnaire (FEDQ) scores and there was significant decrease in the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores (p < or = 0.001). It showed that fidelity of the parents, severity of the children, and baseline developmental status might affect the outcome.
Conclusion: Adding home-base DIR/Floortime intervention at the average 14 hours/week for one year helped 47% of children with autism to make good improvement in their development, and decreased autism's severity significantly.