Parents of children with autism often attend training programmes to help them cope and with the hope that they will improve their child's symptoms and behaviour. A programme called Early Bird is aimed at pre-school children and a programme called ASCEND has been running for parents of older children in the Bradford area for the last five years. There has been little research into the effectiveness of these programmes so researchers from Bradford District Care Trust studied 79 parents (who had 58 children between them) attending the programme between 2004 and 2007. 88% found the course useful or very useful and parental knowledge and skills improved significantly across a range of learning outcomes. Scores on the Developmental Behaviour Checklist showed a significant reduction in problem behaviour which was associated with the parents learning improved skills in behaviour management.
Pillay, Mini - Autism Spectrum Conditions - Enhancing Nurture and Development (ASCEND): An evaluation of intervention support groups for parents Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry January 2011, 16(1), 5-20