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It is critical for professionals to recognise that parents know their own children very well and that the developmental concerns of the parent or caregiver should be taken seriously, even if these are not shared by others. While levels of parental concern are not reliable indicators of specific diagnoses (e.g. ASD), there is evidence that parents have moderate to high levels of accuracy in identifying clinically relevant developmental concerns that warrant further assessment . If older children or adults have queries about themselves, these should also be taken seriously.
Parent involvement potentially enhances learning opportunities and generalisation across home and community settings. The types of parent training that are supported by evidence ‘aim to increase the understanding of, and sensitivity and responsiveness to, the child’s communication and interaction’ (NICE guidelines, 2013). As with other support and intervention planning, parent values, preferences and capacity are key to decision making about the appropriateness and timing of including parent training and coaching. However, not all interventions based on parent training have an established or emerging evidence base. Those without an evidence base should not be implemented.
Roberts, J. M. A., Williams, K., Smith, K., & Campbell, L. (2016). Autism spectrum disorder: Evidence-based/evidence-informed good practice for supports provided to preschool children, their families and carers. Report prepared for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Retrieved from http://a4.org.au/sites/default/files/Autism Research Report final.pdf