A comprehensive study has found that parents who learn "super parenting" skills can significantly improve their child's autism.
Published in The Lancet, the long-term report outlined that parents who underwent communications training saw a reduction in their child's symptoms. The training taught parents how to interact better with their kids, aged 2 to 4, who had "severe" autism. This means they can't communicate with their parents.
Six years after the year-long training began, the participants were assessed again. It was found that the children had improved social skills, reduced repetitive behaviours, and fewer had "severe" autism than a control group.
In fact, at the start of the study 55% of children were severely autistic, compared to 46% after six years.
Why are the findings so positive?
One BBC article quoted experts who said the results were "cheering". And Professor Jonathan Green from the University of Manchester who acted as investigator on the study said the results were extraordinary.
However, he did caution that, "This is not a cure. But it does have a sustained and substantial reduction in severity and that's important in families."
What is autism?
According to Autism Spectrum Australia, autism is "a lifelong developmental condition that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people."
There are actually signs and symptoms that can tell if a child has autism, which include but not limited to the following:
- Unusual body posturing or facial expressions
- Unusual tone of voice
- Difficulty with eye contact with other people
- Behavioral disturbances
- Poor in communication skills and language comprehension
- Intense focus on one topic
- Lack of empathy
- Lack of understanding social cues
- Learning disability or difficulty
- Repetitive Movements
- Self-abusive behaviors
- Sleep disturbances
- Social withdrawal
In Australia, it affects one in every 100 people (around 230,000 Australians).
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