In this evaluation we examine whether children's observed rate of developmental functioning at the and of intervention is greater than their rate of developmental functioning at the beginning of intervention.
A form of therapy that focuses on parents' interactions with their children could help treat autism at a far lower cost than other strategies for the disorder, according to researchers. Their study found that a therapy called responsive teaching, given over one year, led to gains in language and behavioral development among young children with autism or other pervasive developmental disorders -- a group of disorders marked by problems in the development of communication and social skills.
Relationship-based early intervention is concerned with fostering successful parent-professional partnerships and supporting healthy, positive parent-child interactions to meet the special needs of infants and toddlers with developmental challenges This central focus on parent-child relationships and parent-professional relationships in early intervention services represents a fundamental shift from a deficit-based, child-focused model to a strength-based, transactional model in which mutually satisfying parent-child interactions are supported by professionals
Responsive teaching strategies improved parents' responsiveness with their children, and were highly effective at enhancing children's developmental growth.... The results also challenge the idea that only highly structured interventions can help children with PDDs, say the authors, since the less-structured procedures, which have aided the cognitive and language development of children with developmental disabilities, address those same needs in children with PDDs.
The intervention was conducted over a one year time period through weekly individual parent-child sessions. It focused on helping parents use Responsive Teaching strategies to encourage their children to acquire and use pivotal developmental behaviors that addressed their individualized developmental needs. Pre- post- comparisons indicated significant increases in parents' responsiveness and children's pivotal behavior.
Interventions were effective at enhancing development when they promoted increases in mothers' responsiveness to their children. Regardless of how much early intervention services children received, intervention did not enhance children's development if it did not enhance mothers' responsiveness. Neither the amount of services provided to children (i.e., intensity) nor the range of family services parents received contributed to changes in children's developmental functioning.
The Responsive Teaching National Outreach Project is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. It has one goal: To help as many young children as possible realize their potential for developmental competence and social-emotional well being through early intervention and parent education.