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To Help Autistic Children, Training Parents To Communicate Shows Promise

By wochit 27 October 2016

A new study suggests a program that teaches parents how to communicate better with their kids may improve certain autism symptoms. In the October 25th online edition of The Lancet, scientists report training parents to better communicate with their children with autism spectrum disorder may lead to long-lasting improvements in certain symptoms. Geraldine Dawson is a clinical psychologist who directs the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. She told Science News that the results are “very encouraging,” because they show long-term benefits for a relatively low-intensity treatment — one that’s delivered by parents. Child psychiatrist Jonathan Green of the University of Manchester in England led the study. He said that following the study of parents and children with autism, communication between children and parents seemed stronger in the group who received the training. However, other symptoms, such as depression and language skills, were unchanged. Green said, “The autism doesn’t go away,” but certain symptoms seem to be reduced.