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Parents As Therapists For Autistic Children

Are you busy thinking that can Parents be a Therapist for Autistic Children? The answer is a yes! There are numerous well-established risk-free therapies that parents can provide aspects of on their own with little time or money outlay. Even better, some parent-mediated interventions have been shown to reduce symptoms over time. The best part is that these therapies can help parents bond with their children while also developing skills. Some of these therapies are listed below:

Play Therapy

Play therapy is precisely what it sounds like: learning through play. The goal of play therapy for children with autism is to improve social interaction and communication skills, as well as to improve children’s ability to engage in novel activities and symbolic play in the long run. Begin by engaging your child in simple chase-and-tickle games, bubble-blowing, or sensory activities like swinging, sliding, or wriggling through a tube. You may be able to progress to back-and-forth turn-taking games, collaborative games, or even make-believe as your child’s abilities develop.

Speech Therapy

While speech therapy is a complicated field, there are some aspects of speech and communication therapy that parents can provide with little training. Hanen’s More Than Words and Talkability programs are specifically designed for parents to use with their autistic children and are also excellent bonding techniques. To learn their techniques, you can attend an in-person Hanen class or purchase their guidebook/DVD combos.


Floortime is similar to play therapy, but it is based on the idea that parents should work to increase “circles of communication” with their autistic child. In other words, by using Floortime techniques, parents encourage their child to engage in back-and-forth interaction (verbal or nonverbal), which can be difficult for people on the spectrum.

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

RDI is a therapeutic technique designed specifically for parents. It, like Floortime, employs developmental theories to assist parents in assisting their children in developing social communication skills. RDI, on the other hand, has a predetermined set of goals and activities and requires parents to work with a consultant to get started.

If you want to use developmental therapy with your child and prefer a well-defined program (and have the money to hire a consultant to get started), RDI could be a good fit.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for Aggressive Behaviors

A significant minority of children with autism spectrum disorders exhibit aggressive behaviors, making it difficult for them to leave the house or participate in normal activities. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a technique used to treat aggressive children that is delivered by parents who have been trained by consultants. According to their official website: “Parents learn to incorporate clear limit-setting within the context of an authoritative relationship to break the cycle of escalating negative behaviors between parent and child.

According to PCIT, establishing effective limit-setting and consistency in a discipline requires a strong, secure attachment relationship, which leads to improved mental health for both parent and child.”


“A Smart Mother Makes Often a Better Diagnosis Than a Poor Doctor”- August Bier (German Surgeon)

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