New study suggests mothers of autistic children parent differently

University of Leuven in Belgium – nearly 1,000 mothers living in Belgium and the Netherlands completed a questionnaire about parenting behaviours. The children were aged 6 – 18.

552 families who completed the questionnaire have a child with autism.

The study which is highlighted on the Disability Scoop website found that mothers of children with autism address their child’s behavioural needs differently than parents of children without autism.

Researchers also found that mothers were less likely to set rules or use discipline but were more likely to focus on good behaviour rather than bad.

It was also found that parents of autistic children were less controlling.

Researchers from the University of Leuven in Belgium said in their findings:

“Many mothers reported important strengths in adjusting their behavior to the diagnosis of ASD for their child. We do not know whether this is a result of parent involved interventions or whether mothers spontaneously attune and respond to their child behavioral cues,”

They further add:

“These results suggest that parenting behavior may be important to consider in problem behavior in children with ASD and the effectiveness of interventions focused on parent behavior merits further examination,”

The study is to be published in the March issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

The article by Shaun Heasley on the Disability Scoop website can be found here