Scientists Seek Better Understanding of Parents’ Role in Autism

Jeff Vaughan, Staff Reporter

Recent medical studies have shown that for autistic kids if parents interact with them more, it could help those kids communicate and help them learn.

Autism is a mental condition where kids have trouble learning new things, interacting socially, and sometimes will have repetitive behaviors.

For many families this is a problem for parents–some don’t know what they can do to help their child who has autism and may become frustrated.  Parenting small children is already a big job, and having a child on the autism spectrum makes that job harder in several ways.

In late October, the medical journal Lancet discussed a study that determined that when parents interacted with their child it helped improve the child’s abilities like their communication.

In the U.K. for about seventy five years scientists have been studying kids and parents to see how the kids reacted within certain situations from little interaction from their parents to more interaction from them.

The participants were from the ages between 2 to 4 years old but only if the child reached a certain level of autism.

Seventy-seven participants went through the PACT, Preschool Autism Communication Trial, and seventy five were treated under normal conditions.

The studies showed that 142 of the 155 participants have improved and decreased how severe their condition was beforehand.

This proves that when parents interact with their children who are autistic they do get better and learn a lot easier than if they weren’t getting the attention from their parents.  This may seem obvious, but when a child can’t or won’t communicate, parents may not realize they are still having a positive effect.

This reporter is encouraged by these results as well since [disclosure] I have a younger brother who is autistic.

For a few years it was hard for us to get him to learn new things or to get him to talk at all. Once we figured out that he was autistic we started to care for him more and interact with him more often.

It seems that it isn’t just with parents but with brothers or sisters as well, so to me it seems with more interaction with anyone close to the child who is autistic can help improve his or her condition.