Jonathan Weiss, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, and Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Treatment and Care Research, discovered that parents who participate in cognitive therapy with their children with autism also experience a real benefit that improves the family experience.
Approximately 70 per cent of children with autism struggle with emotional or behavioural problems, and may benefit from cognitive behaviour therapy to improve their ability to manage their emotions.
“Most of the time when parents bring in their kids for cognitive behaviour therapy, they are in a separate room learning what their children are doing, and are not being co-therapists,” said Weiss. “What’s unique about what we studied is what happens when parents are partners in the process from start to finish. Increasingly, we know that it’s helpful for kids with autism, specifically, and now we have proven that it’s helpful for their parents too.”
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