Can Parents Reduce Autism Risks In Babies? Study Reveals How In 'Video Feedback' Program

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald April 13, 04:00 am
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Experts said parents who joined a video feedback program had more positive outcomes in dealing with babies who might have autism.
(Photo : Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Autism Speaks)

A new study revealed parents might be able to reduce autism risks in babies. Experts saw promising effects when families joined a video feedback program.

Experts from the University of Manchester conducted the study on autism in babies under 3-years-old and video feedback among parents. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published the study's results.

Some 54 babies who had older siblings with autism took part in the study. Experts considered the babies as high risk for autism as the disorder is already in the family.

Of these babies and their families, 28 joined the video feedback program and the rest became the control group with no intervention. The experts conducted six home visits for five months for the first group.

The video feedback program essentially involved therapists conducting assessments of the babies with their moms or dads via video. They discussed the babies' progress in communication skills, language development and engagement with the parents, as per The Conversation.

The video feedback program served to help parents understand and adapt to the changes in their babies. It was also a way for parents to receive support so they can provide early intervention for their child, if something wasn't right or if they sense the baby wasn't developing properly. The findings underscored the positive effects of a video feedback program in the way the parents interacted with their babies compared to those who did not receive guidance.

"We have shown that beginning intervention of this kind in the first year of life can produce important improvements for the babies over the medium term in development, continuing after the therapy finishes," lead study author Professor Jonathan Green said, as per Science Daily. Jon Spiers of the charity group Autistica saw promise in this program especially since a typical and concrete autism diagnosis doesn't happen until the baby is 3-years-old or older. Their group provided funding for the study.

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