Research for developmental, relationship-based approaches

Research for developmental, relationship-based approaches

It is critically important to inform our government about recent rigorous research when it comes to public policy in order to advocate convincingly for parent choice. Recently, research on Parent Implemented Models (PIM) that use a Developmental, Relationship-Based approach (PIM DRB) (‘Social Pragmatic‘ interventions) has firmly established that PIM DRB programs are evidence-based and should be offered as an early intervention option for young children (14 months to 6 years of age) diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Richard Solomon, M.D. has written a summary (2018) of recent reviews: Wong et al. (2014), Smith & Iadarola (2015), Mercer (2015), and most recently Binns & Oram Cardy (2019) reviewed Developmental Social Pragmatic methodologies. It is clear that thousands of young children are waiting for intensive early intervention services Mandell et al. (2016) when the only option available in a community is behavioural approaches like Applied Behavioural Analysis which simply cannot meet the need. 

Parent coaching models offer a practical solution to wait lists at 1/10th the cost of therapist delivered models and are smart public policy on two counts: cost and easier dissemination on a large scale. The argument also needs to be made that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined primarily as an “impairment of social abilities” in the DSM 5, used for diagnosing ASD. The primary focus and research outcomes of PIM DRB are directed at social interaction. The research shows that parents can be coached to interact in an effective way with their children who have ASD and, by doing do, consistently and significantly help their children’s social abilities.

PIM DRB models of autism early intervention that are evidence-based, easy to disseminate, cost effective, and improve social interaction and relationships should be made widely available to all families in the province.

It’s the conversation, not the words alone that supports language development

It’s the conversation, not the words alone that supports language development

A study out of MIT published in February’s psychological Science online found that back-and-forth exchanges between parent and child—that is, engaging children in conversation—is what boosts the brain’s response to language. Floortime coaches parents how to do exactly this: increase the gestural communication that uses the sensory and motor systems to promote these circles of communication in “conversation” between parent & child.

Two new studies on the benefits of DIR/Floortime

Two new studies on the benefits of DIR/Floortime

A new study in Taiwan has found that a ten-week home-based DIR/Floortime program had positive effects. From the abstract: “Children made significant changes in mean scores for emotional functioning, communication, and daily living skills. Moreover, the mothers perceived positive changes in their parent-child interactions.”

Another recent study “examined the effectiveness of improvisational music therapy carried out within a DIRFloortime framework in addressing the individual social communication needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)”…”Results indicated improvements in areas of self-regulation, engagement, behavioral organization, and two-way purposeful communication.”

Neuroscience findings have autism researchers rethinking behavioural interventions

Neuroscience findings have autism researchers rethinking behavioural interventions

A new research study calls into question the practice of defaulting to Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) and the newly popular approach, naturalist developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI) in favour of strengths-based approaches, based on the latest neuroscience autism-related research.

From the abstract: “Once considered to be “scientifically proven”, the efficacy of these approaches has been called into question in the last decade due to poor-quality data, small effects, low cost-efficiency, and the evolution of ethical and societal standards.” You can see the study HERE.

New study finds interests of autistic adults key to functional living

New study finds interests of autistic adults key to functional living

This new study out of New York University found that the intense interests that often accompany autism in adults can not only be helpful to their self-regulation, but also in finding fulfilling career paths. Here is Science Daily’s summary.

These findings are completely in line with the developmental approach to autism therapies where we follow children’s interest as a gateway into their world in order to then invite them into a shared world, rather than considering the interest as an obsession to be thwarted or subdued.