New York: Children suffering from autism spectrum disorder show improved behaviour when their parents are trained with specific, structured strategies to manage tantrums, aggression, self-injury, and non-compliance, a new research has found.
Defined by impaired social communication and repetitive behaviour, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a chronic condition that begins in early childhood.
"Our study shows that parent training is also helpful for improving behavioural problems such as irritability and non-compliance in young children with ASD," said Denis Sukhodolsky, assistant professor at the Yale University in the US.
The researchers randomly assigned 180 children between the ages of three and seven with ASD and behavioural problems to either a 24-week parent training program, or a 24-week parent education program.
Parent education provided up-to-date and useful information about ASD, but no instruction on how to manage behavioural problems.
"Both groups showed improvement, but parent training was superior on measures of disruptive and non-compliant behaviour," James Dziura, associate professor at Yale, pointed out.
The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).