A pilot trial of the Incredible Years Autism Spectrum and Language Delays Programme
Bibliography: Hutchings, J., Pearson-Blunt, R., Pasteur, M.A., Healy, H., & Williams, M.E. (2016). A pilot trial of the Incredible Years Autism Spectrum and Language Delays Programme. GAP, 17(1), 15-22.
The Incredible Years® (IY) basic parent programme is a group-based programme for parents of children aged 3 to 6 years. It encourages positive relationships between the parents and their children through group-based, weekly sessions (Webster-Stratton, 2011). It teaches parents how to play with their children, how to develop their social and emotional skills and positive parental discipline practices. There is considerable evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of this programme in decreasing problematic behaviour in children (Webster-Stratton, 2011; Hutchings et al, 2007) and in reducing stress and depression in parents (Hutchings et al, 2012; Charles et al, 2013). Dababnah and Parish (2014) conducted a pilot study in which they tailored the basic IY programme for parents of children on the autism spectrum. They had a positive response to the programme from parents although parents felt that the video examples of parents and children were not applicable due to their not depicting children with autism. A subsequent feasibility study was conducted and the results supported the pilot study, indicating that the IY programme was acceptable to parents of young children on the autism spectrum (Dababnah and Parish, 2016). Since this study a new IY parenting programme, specifically targeting parents of children on the autism spectrum and/or with communication difficulties, has been developed (Webster-Stratton, 2015). The present study aims to establish the response of parents of children on the autism spectrum to the new IY Autism Spectrum and Language Delays Programme and to trial possible evaluation tools. The course was being run for the first time in the UK.