Positive Parenting

an autism parent training to address children problem behaviour and teach them socially important skills


One of the biggest challenges parents often face is managing their child behaviour. Especially for parents of children with autism (ASD), behavioural challenges can be even greater due to the child’s skill deficiencies (i.e communication). For parents who want to be able to manage their child’s behaviour, help them gain the developmental skills they need to regulate their own behaviours, as well as teach them new skills, behavioural therapy techniques can prove very effective.

Behavioural therapy techniques are based on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), an evidence-based intervention, especially for children with ASD. (Dillenburger, Keenan, Gallagher, McElhinney, 2009). ABA is a therapy based on the science of learning and behaviour. It applies our understanding of how behaviour works to real situations. The goal is to increase behaviours that are socially significant and helpful and decrease behaviours that are harmful or affect learning. ABA therapy interventions often aim to Increase language and communication skills, improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics and decrease problem behaviours 
Although ABA therapy is and should be provided by certified and experienced therapists, parent involvement in the treatment process has been found to be a factor that increases the likelihood of positive outcomes for the child (Crockett and Fleming, 2007). According to Gresham et al. (1999) ABA services for children with autism that include parent training result in greater outcomes for the child as compared to services without ABA parent training incorporated into the treatment.
Giving parents of children with ASD useful parenting tools and knowledge, can lead to greater self-confidence, increase the chances of positive treatment outcomes, acceptance of life challenges and even generalisation of effective parenting skills to other children of the family.
ABA parent training could also result in better relationship dynamics between parents when they are both on board with implementing similar strategies with their child. Additionally, even families that do not run an ABA therapy programme, could greatly benefit from a parent training based on the principles of ABA as it can give them the knowledge they need to manage their child’s challenging behaviour, teach them important skills such as self-help skills, communication and social skills and pre-academic skills.
The project has the following objectives:
The project will bring together 6 European organisations to accomplish the following objectives:
• To deliver training courses to directly train parents in behavioural techniques and, also, to deliver these courses to a target group of adult education trainers, in order to amplify and perpetuate the ripple effect of those courses
• Design, test and publish an innovative training package for adult education trainers that will train the target group (parents) to acquire sufficient knowledge and understanding about ABA and parenting techniques based on the science of behaviour