The research, conducted by Professor Jonathan Weiss from York University in the United Kingdom, included 57 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) aged eight to 12 who did not have an intellectual disability.
Rather than only observe, half of the parent group was asked to act as co-therapists in the cognitive behavioral therapy (CTB) sessions, learning the same emotion control techniques their children were learning and asked to mimic the behaviors. Parents were also asked to write down their children’s thoughts during activities.
“What we studied is what happens when parents are partners in the process from start to finish,” said Prof. Weiss. “The research showed that parents improved their abilities to handle their own emotions and to see themselves in a more positive light. It helped them to become more aware of their parenting and all of the good they do as parents.”