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Parent training can reduce serious behavioral problems in young children with autism, according to research led by scientists at Emory University School of Medicine. In the multisite study, 180 parents of 3 to 7 year-olds with autism spectrum disorder and serious behavioral problems randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first received 24 weeks of parent training, which taught them specific strategies for managing their children’s tantrums, aggression, self-injury and noncompliance. The second group had 24 weeks of parent education which offered useful information on autism but no guidance on managing behavioral problems. At the end of the treatment, children in the parent-training group showed a 48 percent improvement on parent ratings of disruptive behavior compared with 32 percent improvement among those in the parent-education group. Overall, progress was rated by a clinician who was blind to treatment assignment. At week 24, the clinicians rated 70 percent of children in the parent-training group as better behaved, compared with 40 percent in the parent-education group. To read the full article, please visit The Journal of the American Medical Association, April 21.

Basic behavioral training for parents of typical and non-typical children is invaluable for modifying maladaptive behaviors and changing the environment and relationships in the home. The behavioral change in the home even generalizes to other settings. Contact your local Behaviorist, Cognitive Behaviorist, or BCBA to help you with specific problems in the home.

Susie Bean Gives Team