What is it about?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, and the majority of children diagnosed with ASD experience delays and challenges in social-emotional and language development. This study aims to increase diversity in autism research and reduce the barriers to support services for children with ASD through a parent-coaching intervention delivered using telepractice. Specifically, the effects of the intervention on communication and affect for both the parent and child with autism were evaluated longitudinally across 8 time points or sessions. Using a quasi-experimental design, without a control group, findings highlight the parent-child dyadic synchrony and responsiveness in affective and communicative competence in the home via a multimodal parenting intervention. Thus, verbal, and affective communication skills are promising targets for future naturalistic intervention strategies with parents or caretakers. Moreover, findings highlight that access to interventions could be increased to diverse and under-represented populations by leveraging telepractice approaches.

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Why is it important?

The results of this study have important implications for practice. First, since parents typically spend more time with their children than service providers, parent coaching can support parents to become more effective communication partners with children with ASD across different natural settings and contexts; thus, potentially providing more efficient intervention implementation. Further, telepractice allows parents to be more flexible when collaborating with professionals. This may allow access to high-quality services to families who would not otherwise be able to access such interventions, due to geographic, financial, transportation, or language limitations (Fitton et al., 2017). In addition, as suggested from the previous research (Shalev et al., 2020), parents’ behaviors and interaction style with their children may affect children’s communication outcomes. Given the amount of time, parents spend with their children; increasing modeling of communication behaviors in parents may have substantial impacts on children in their natural environments.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Communication and Affective Synchrony between Parents and Their Children with Autism during a Multimodal Communication Parent-Coaching Intervention, Child & Family Behavior Therapy, February 2022, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/07317107.2022.2043683.
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