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Parent-Mediated Therapy

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In parent-mediated therapy, parents learn therapy techniques from professionals and provide specific therapies to their own child. This approach gives children with autism spectrum disorder consistent reinforcement and training throughout the day. Parents can also conduct some therapies with children who are at risk of autism but are too young to be diagnosed.

Several types of therapies can be parent-mediated, including:

  • Joint attention therapy
  • Social communication therapy
  • Behavioral therapy

Studies suggest that parent-mediated therapies might be able to improve the child's communication skills and interactions with others.1There is currently little evidence supporting one specific parent-mediated therapy over another. Autism Speaks sponsors the Autism Speaks Toddler Treatment Network, which evaluates specific methods for very young children.2


  1. McConachie, H., & Diggle, T. (2006). Parent implemented early intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 13(1), 120-129. [top]
  2. Autism Speaks. (2012). Upcoming Conference on Toddler Interventions in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved April 27, 2012, from http://www.autismspeaks.org/create-content/news/toddler-treatment-network External Web Site Policy [top]

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Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 12/18/2013
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