By James Gallagher
Better than good
The researchers’ idea was simple: improve mum’s and dad’s parenting to improve the social skills of the child.
Dr Catherine Aldred, a consultant speech and language therapist with Stockport NHS Trust, stressed it was not about blaming the parents.
“We’re taking the parent’s interaction with the child and taking it to a ‘super’ level, these children need more than ‘good enough’, they need something exceptional,” she said.
Exceptional is hard work. Parents were recorded with their child, who might have been sitting, playing alone.
But mum and dad were then shown a highlights package of the easily-missed moments when the autistic child subtly moved to play with their parents.
Communication specialists then worked with the parents to give them the skills to get the most out of these brief moments.
In small steps, it eventually moved on to getting the child to speak more.
Louisa told the BBC: “You notice things you wouldn’t notice in real time.
“Things like waiting, giving Frank plenty of time to communicate and commenting rather than questioning him, which puts on pressure to respond.
Connie’s comments: When I was a childbirth educator, I stressed the importance of conscious parenting, being attentive to your children, use massage, sleep with your babies and communicating with them in positive and healthy ways.