The Effectiveness of a Parent-training Program for Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • 何 孟欣

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction: Preschool children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents face many difficulties in daily lives including children’s adaptive functioning parenting skills and parenting stress Therefore effective and economical interventions are very important to support them With appropriate theoretical bases a parent-training program could be effective economical and feasible while the clinical manpower is insufficient Among current intervention programs the play concept and the developmental individual difference and relationship-based (DIR) model match the philosophy of occupational therapy Previous research had showed the play- and DIR-based parent-training programs would improve children’s communicative development However the empirical evidence was still weak due to poor research designs and little research was comprehensively investigated children’s adaptive functioning Moreover the results of improvement in parenting skills and reduction of parenting stress were not consistent Aim: This study would implement a dose-matched control group and comprehensive measurements to examine if the play- and DIR-based parent-training program would improve children’s adaptive functioning and parents’ parenting skills as well as reduce parenting stress Hypotheses: We hypothesized that the better improvements would show in the parent-training program than those in the traditional program Method: Thirty-six preschool children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents were included and randomly assigned them to either the parent-training program group or the traditional program group after pretest phase Both of them conducted 14-week intervention programs and were assessed after interventions Children’s development levels and adaptive functioning were assessed by the Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS) the Chinese version of Psychoeducational Profile-Third edition (CPEP-3) and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) In addition parents’ parenting skills were assessed by the FEAS and parenting stress was evaluated by the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form Results: The significant differences showed in the FEAS scores between two groups The parent-training program had significant within-group differences in the FEAS communication and motor composites in the CPEP-3 and communication daily living skills and total scales in the VABS The traditional program only showed significant differences in the communication composite in the CPEP-3 and motor skills in the VABS Both groups remained stable parenting stress but presented high satisfaction Discussions/conclusion: The results suggested that the play- and DIR-based parent-training program improved children’s developmental levels adaptive functioning and parents’ parenting skills Our study contributed to evidence-based practice for children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents by demonstrating a feasible and economical program in current clinics
Date of Award2018 Feb 6
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorLing-Yi Lin (Supervisor)

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