Parental Involvement is Key – Lighthouse Autism Center
Early intervention is vital to assisting a child with autism, but this doesn’t only include professional help. Parents play a key role in helping their children in a variety of ways. Join us as we take a look at how.
The Importance of Parental Involvement
At Lighthouse Autism Center we believe in a team approach to helping your child reach their fullest potential. While every member of the team (parents, caregivers, therapists, educators, doctors, advocates) play a part in your child’s success, parental support is arguably the most important.
How Increased Parental Involvement Helps Children with Autism
As a parent, it’s important to understand the key benefits your involvement will have for your child. Research has shown that increased parental involvement will often help a child with autism manage their symptoms or improve any skills they are struggling with.
A study titled “Parent-mediated social communication therapy for young children with autism (PACT): long-term follow-up of a randomized controlled trial,” which was completed by the University of Manchester in 2016, has more good news for parents.
This study has also shown that early intervention from parents offers general improvements in a child with autism’s symptoms and that this reduction is long-lasting, highlighting how beneficial parental intervention is for the child.
How Parents Can Assist Their Children
Here are some ways parents can help their autistic children.
Support Starts from the Beginning
While the causes of autism are still unknown, it is important to start looking for the signs of autism early. Studies have shown that catching the signs of autism early in a child’s life can lead to better outcomes. Some of these early signs include missing various developmental milestones, no babbling, no eye contact, no response to name, and lack of expression (happiness, smiling). If you suspect that your child may be exhibiting these signs, it is important you contact your healthcare provider to determine if your child has autism.
Support Through Therapy
Once a child receives an autism diagnosis, the next question a parent will ask is how to support a child with autism. It is crucial that parents and caregivers seek appropriate therapy services for their child, which may include ABA therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, or a combination of these and other therapies.
Specifically, ABA therapy is the only therapy recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General for the treatment of autism. With individualized treatment plans designed by Board Certified Behavior Analysts and the work of a trained Registered Behavior Technician, we see children achieve great outcomes through this type of therapy.
Therapy At Home
It is equally important that parents work to provide a child with the autism support they need outside of therapy sessions. This can be achieved by implementing the same skills their child is working on in therapy at home. For example, if a child works on using utensils as part of a therapy program, but parents do not work with the child to use utensils at home, that child may learn they only have to use utensils when they go to therapy but not at home. Consistency and follow-through are key to a child’s success, and that requires the commitment and work of parents and caregivers to follow through at home.
Lighthouse Autism Center
For parents and children at Lighthouse Autism Center, our Board Certified Behavior Analysts provide parent training and often go into a child’s home to assist parents. We want to make sure that parents have the tools and knowledge to follow through at home and help their child achieve their highest potential. We also have various tools for parents to help their children with autism.
To learn more about Lighthouse Autism Center, call 574-387-4313.
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