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Parents of autistic children are seen to benefit to a great extent from the therapy classes of their little ones—much more than imagined, as shown by a recent study carried out by the faculty of York Health University.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effects

Associate Prof. Jonathan Weiss says, “During the course of the study, we were able to discover that parents of autistic children who participated in cognitive therapy classes with their young children experienced greater benefits that had a direct effect on improving the overall family experience.”

70% of autistic children are seen to struggle emotionally while undergoing behavioral complexities. Cognitive therapy programs are designed to assist children in improving their ability to better manage their emotions.

Weiss further adds “More often than not, when parents accompany their autistic kids for cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, they sit in separate rooms and learn the activities of their children and what they are being made to learn.”

Prof. Weiss further says that the parents are more than co-therapists. “The unique thing about participating in such activities according to our observations is it helps parents to a wider extent in helping them overcome their distressed emotions.”

The parents who were a part of the study were further involved in randomized trials and were asked to take part in surveys. The results from the parents who took part in the survey were analyzed with parents who did not involve themselves in the therapy.

Prof. Weis and his student Prof. Andrea Maughan studied and examined the observed changes in the mental health of parents while measuring the perceptions and mindfulness of their children. The course of the study involved a group of 57 autistic children who weren’t intellectually disabled.

Interestingly, the study showed that parents who actively participated experienced greater improvements in their levels of emotional regulation with depression while enjoying mindful parenting.

Prof. Weiss says, “The research highlighted an important observation of parents being able to improve their ability when it comes to handling their emotions.” The professor further says, “It was also observed these programs help parents to have better awareness about the skills required to parent their child effectively and the ways they can do justice to their children.”

During the course of the study, the researchers made the parents co-therapists along with the child’s therapist. Parents were asked to follow the same strategies that the therapists used on their children.

Thus, parents were seen to effectively learn the principles of effective therapy during the course of the study.

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Further, parents were requested to make a note of their children’s thoughts during the course of ongoing activities.

“As a participant, I have seen myself grow as much as my child. Earlier I thought that strategies such as ‘One Size Fits All’ had to be employed, but no, I am wrong,” says Jessica.

Jessica is a parent who was involved in the study.

Jessica excitedly says, “It is beautiful to watch my son developing his skills through useful programs such as these. I am hopeful these will help him find ways to handle his own feelings which is a great gift that can always be cherished.”

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effects on Parents of Autistic Children
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effects on Parents of Autistic Children
Can Parents/Care Givers benefit from the therapy classes their loved ones undergo?
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