Previous research has shown that parent-training programs derived from the developmental individual-difference relationship-based model (DIR) can improve the communicative development of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the empirical evidence is weak. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of two home-based parent-training programs on children's developmental abilities, adaptive functioning, and parents’ parenting skills. A rigorous randomized controlled trial (RCT) design with a dose-matched control group was used. Twenty-four preschool children with ASD and their parents were randomly assigned to the intervention group or the control group at the pre-test phase and received a 14-week intervention program. The children's development levels were assessed using the Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS) and the Chinese version of Psychoeducational Profile-Third edition (CPEP-3). Adaptive functioning were assessed using the CPEP-3 and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. Parenting skills were assessed using the FEAS. Children and caregivers in the intervention group showed significantly greater improvements in emotional development and parenting skills than those in the control group after the 14-week period. However, no treatment efficacy emerged for other developmental areas and adaptive functioning on two standardized measures. The results suggest that the home-based parent-training program based on the DIR model may benefit children with ASD for the emotional development and the parents for parenting skills.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health