Parents Can Learn Language Training Technique that Helps Children with Autism


Parents can relatively easily learn to practice a simple training technique which can help improve the ability of their autistic children to develop language skills, according to research published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, the study was “the first randomized, controlled trial to test whether group classes are a good way to train parents on using an autism therapy,” stated a Stanford University press release.

The technique is called “Pivotal Response Training.” When parents identify something that the child wants, they engage with the child in learning and practice opportunities around the word for it, and conclude by giving them the object. According to the author’s, the technique’s effectiveness has been established in previous studies.

“We’re teaching parents to become more than parents,” said the study’s lead author in the press release. “What we’re most excited about is that parents are able to learn this intervention and implement it with their kids.” Parents reportedly also experienced reduced stress themselves.

(Abstract) A randomized controlled trial of Pivotal Response Treatment Group for parents of children with autism (Hardan, Antonio Y et al. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Article first published online: October 27, 2014. DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12354)

Group classes teach parents effective autism therapy, study finds (Science Daily, October 27, 2014)

Also see:

Pivotal Response Training (Autism Intervention Research Program, UC San Diego)