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A university led study may help children with autism

Thursday, October 27th, 2016 | News

A recently published study details a new form of training that is helping parents to better understand children diagnosed with autism. The training centres around teaching parents to understand the subtle clues that many autistic children express, these clues can be very simple to read but often easy to miss. One such clue is a slight shift in head movement, which can often indicate that a child wants to communicate.


This approach differs to the many, more traditional form of autism therapy. These are often based around the child or person that has autism, and try to change the way they behave. This study instead focused on changing the environment of the child.


In the UK alone there 700,000 people living with autism, and it affects every person differently. This new form of training helps parents to communicate with their children from a younger age, meaning they are effectively able to give their children day-to-day therapy rather than waiting for one off specialist sessions.


The study was conducted by researchers from King’s College London, Newcastle University, The University of Manchester and Guy’s and St Thomas’ University NHS Trust. The study was funded by the Medical Research Council, Department of Health and National Institute of Health Research.


The study, called the Parent-mediated social communication therapy for young children with autism, or PACT for short, had too small of a test field to be deemed a success. This isn’t to say that the results aren’t positive though, this new form of therapy will likely need further research and testing if it is to be deemed an official method of alleviating autistic symptoms.


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