Parent-Mediated Therapy in Autism

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 (ASD) 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 activities, 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.1 Researchers are still collecting evidence on parent-mediated therapies.2,3,4


  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.
  2. Autism Speaks. (2012). Making parent-mediated interventions work for families. Retrieved January 4, 2016, from External Web Site Policy
  3. Siller, M., Morgan, L., Turner-Brown, L., Baggett, K. M., Baranek, G. T., Brian, J., et al. (2013). Designing studies to evaluate parent-mediated interventions for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Early Intervention, 35(4), 355–377.
  4. Kasari, C., Gulsrud, A., Paparella, T., Hellemann, G., & Berry, K. (2015). Randomized comparative efficacy study of parent-mediated interventions for toddlers with autism. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(3), 554–563. Retrieved September 8, 2016, from
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