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Early intervention and toilet training: effects on children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents

By Lisa Summerhill


Current research has demonstrated that having a child who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder can have implications for the parents. Following a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, early intervention has been utilised, being delivered either by professionals or the child’s parents, both at home and in an educational setting. The aim of these interventions is to address the child’s improvement in behaviour, socialisation and communication.\ud \ud Only recently has literature started to focus on parents’ needs and evaluating outcome for these parents when they are accessing different types of early intervention. A review of this literature reveals the need to develop systemic models considering child and parental needs and outcomes in early intervention. Before this may occur further research is needed to address the methodological limitations of the research reviewed in chapter I.\ud \ud Whilst there is limited literature concerning difficulties with toilet training for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are clinical examples of difficulties with this task. In chapter II, eight interviews addressing toilet training were completed with parents of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A possible psychological conceptualisation of parent’s experiences was developed. Limitations of the research and implications for clinical practice are considered

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