Parent management training

Having a child or children has two-fold meanings. You, as parents, will love your child or children unconditional. In another hand, you would have a hard time also a tired period as the child (ren) is/are still young. A common saying for the second meaning:”we are tired but we also have a fun time with our child/children.”

parent with infant

What if the child is newly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Would you have a harder time than other parents who have normal kids? how about your mental health when you first learned about the new? You would have a complex feeling, emotions since the child is more “unique” than the peers.

As you follow the group doctor instruction, you gather all the information about the spectrum of your diagnosed child. You also look for the treatments, the therapies that would improve the child’s condition. With different sources information, you have known about the therapies/treatment names for the core autism. So far, I have introduced a few treatments:

  • ABA – Applied Behavior Analysis ;
  • VB – Verbal Behavior;
  • ESDM – Early Start Denver Model;
  • PRT – Pivotal Response Treatment/ therapy;

Why would parents choose a program included parents training?

Within four programs above, the ESDM and PRT are the two complementary programs. Besides the certificated trainer works directly with the child at the clinic or center, they also offer the training for parents as well. -> this would bring out more positively because out of the program’s time default in the center/clinic (usually about 20 -> 40 hours per week per the child), parents continue the trainer’s work for reinforcing the lessons to the child at based-home. Even in the future, the child for some reasons can not work with the trainer at the clinic, center anymore, parents will take the trainer’s role instead.

-> this is one plus point about ESDM and PRT comparing with ABA, VB: parent training.

However, it would bring more work on the parent’s shoulders since parents need to study-> pass the exam-> earn the specific parent training’s certificate. -> you would be the one who works with your child in the future, no need trainer anymore. If you need some advice, you can seek specialists, other parents in the community.

If you think about the long-term benefits, parents should choose parents training at the beginning as soon as the child is newly diagnosed with autism. (it would save money later on because of cutting the clinic/center trainers cost)

Another reason is convenient. Parents could study and be trained online. Parents can work on the child as they want.

What is the term “parent training”?

According to Wikipedia, parent training has other names like Parent Management Training, Behavioral Parent Training. Or Parent Education; Parent-implemented; Parent-mediated intervention; perhaps caregivers-mediated.

Parent training is a family of treatment programs that aim to change parenting behaviors, teaching parents positive reinforcement methods for improving preschool and school-age children’s behavior problems.

However, that definition for the term is not appropriate with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Following the Autism Spectrum Disorder is still broad as result of the core symptoms plus associated symptoms, Parent Training definition doesn’t have a certain form.

It has some characteristics like the own ASD:

  • Address maladaptive behaviors
  • Care Coordination
  • Evidence-based treatment for typical
  • Parent-focused
  • Psychoeducation
  • Social development

In simple word, “Parent training (PT) is well understood as an evidence-based treatment for typically developing children with disruptive behavior.”. It breaks down into two main categories:

  • Parents support: Parents would receive the support from other parents who share the similar situation. Some organizations deliver free information ASD to parents. Some doctors write a guidebook for parents. Some doctors make the conversation one-on-one with parents-> for the purpose: inform newly-diagnosed parents the knowledge, inform and update date for existing families.
  • Parents Mediated InterventionsTechniques will take the dominant.

When should you consider the parent training?

It depends on the parent’s personalities, the couple relationships, etc. Usually, doctors mention the parent training in advance, and some don’t.

By the time parents walk through the treatment path with the child, there are sometimes parents feel overwhelm themselves. It could deal with the mental health as the result of the ASD, not the child. (If you could blame, then blamed on the own ASD, not the child. The child is innocent.). For example, parents would have stress and depression as the child’s condition doesn’t give any positive signs (Just like any business start-up period time!). Parents would seek the advice, the support from other relatives. They also want to share their stories. They just simply want to tell someone.

And one more side is the own parent’s medical health. As parents take care of the child with a special need, it will take more efforts than normal parents. Anything has their limitation.

Therefore, there are two common turning that makes parents seeking the parent training.

One scenario is passive. Parents have a brief conversation with the group doctors about the child condition.-> this would the good passive since parents are informed and prepared for the long path ahead. However, there has one negative passive-> that is when no one tells parents about the parent’s training. Parents find out about the parent training by them self through searching, by hitting the mental, medical blocks

woman depression

Another scenario is the active parents. This…no need to talk much since parents are active to look for because they knew they need it. Just about the time matter, parents need parents training now or later.

Where can you find the parent training?

Following the categories above, parents can find it online and offline

  • Online sources: parents can look for authorized websites
    • from organizations (like Autism Speak, Autism Society in the USA. Or Autism Europe; Autism Network International; World Autism Organization and many more)
    • from the government (in the USA, it would be the NIH plus five smaller institutes: NICDC, NICHD, NIEHS, NIMH, NINDS. And related departments like CDC)
    • from individual doctors. For example doctor Sally Rogers with the ESDM programs. Or their e-books, the TeleHealth (like a random provider Edochome )
  • Offline: clinics, centers, doctors appointment, paper books

Addition little info: some names for parent training

Followed small fields:

  • Care Coordination
    • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    • “For example, in Pennsylvania, families can register their child with the Office of Developmental Programs to obtain services from a support coordinator who will serve as an advocate and develop an Individual Support Plan”
    • The program, Comprehensive Medical Care for Autism Spectrum Disorders (AMITEA), developed in Spain
  • Psychoeducation
    • The Individualized Education Plan
    • The Transitioning Together, a 10-session program included two individual family sessions focused on goal-setting for the adolescent.
  • Parent-Mediated Intervention for core symptoms:
    • Primary programs such as Joint Attention, or the reduction of the child’s maladaptive behaviors.
    • Joint Attention Symbolic Play Engagement and Regulation (JASPER)
    • Complementary programs like ESDM and PRT from the trainers, therapists to parents; Marcus Autism Center Feeding Program from clinic to home and community.
  • Parent-Mediated Intervention for maladaptive behavior
    • The Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP) Autism Network parent training program
    • The intensive day treatment feeding program at the Marcus Autism Center is a model of a complementary PMI for maladaptive behavior in the form of extreme food refusal and food selectivity in children with ASD


Final, what do you think? Do you agree with me that parents need to be training in according to help their child? Or the certificated trainer is better? Leave your thought, ideas, comments at below, please and thank you.

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