Parent Training Interventions for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Beaudoin, Audrée Jeanne; Sébire, Guillaume; Couture, Mélanie
Background: Now that early identification of toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is possible, efforts are being made to develop interventions for children under three years of age. Most studies on early intervention have focused on intensive and individual interventions. However, parent training interventions that help parents interact and communicate with their toddlers with ASD might be a good alternative to promote the development of their child’s socio-communicative skills. Objective: This review aims to systematically examine 1) the use of parent training interventions for children with ASD under three years of age, and 2) their effects on children’s development, parents’ well-being and parent-child interactions. Methods: Systematic searches were conducted to retrieve studies in which at least one parent was trained to implement ASD-specific techniques with their toddlers (0-36 months old) with a diagnosis of or suspected ASD. Results: Fifteen studies, involving 484 children (mean age: 23.26 months), were included in this review. Only two of them met criteria for conclusive evidence. Results show that parents were able to implement newly learned strategies and were generally very satisfied with parent training programs. However, findings pertaining to the children’s communication and socio-emotional skills, parent-child interactions, and parental well-being were inconclusive.