Training Parents of Autistic Children as Effective as Medicine: New Study

KNWA
KNWA via NBC — A new study should calm the fears of some parents over vaccines. It found the measles, mumps rubella vaccine, known as the MMR has no link to the development of autism. Thanks to the internet, celebrities and confusing science, many parents have feared giving their children a vaccine that can help prevent dangerous diseases. but after studying 95,000 children, researchers hope these new findings calm those fears.

“One of the great things about this study is that it not only shows that there’s not an association between the MMR vaccination and getting autism, that there is no association. But it also shows that there is also no association in high-risk families, families that already have an older child with autism,” said Dr. Tom Frazier, with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

Autism affects 1 in 68 children and most treatment focus on the child, but, Ohio State researchers and others tried training parents. They taught them how to identify triggers that lead to behavioral problems, how to use visual aids to better communicate. After 24 weeks, 70% of the children showed dramatic improvements that lasted. Doctors say that’s just as promising as the most effective drug on the market.

“The average age of the children in this study was four and a half years old at entry. So, if you think about that for a moment, that’s about twenty percent of their life they were followed and we had significant improvements from baseline,” said Dr. Luc Lecavalier, with Ohio State Medical Center.

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