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Does Autism Make Moms Parent Differently?

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A new study suggests that moms of kids with autism address their children’s behavior differently than parents of kids without the developmental disorder.

Researchers found that mothers with children on the spectrum were less likely to set rules or use discipline, but more frequently imposed so-called positive parenting, encouraging good behavior rather than focusing on the bad.

The findings come from a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders which is believed to be among the first to look at parenting behavior among moms of individuals with autism.

For the research, nearly 1,000 mothers of children ages 6 to 18 in Belgium and the Netherlands completed a questionnaire about their parenting approach. Participants in the study included 552 families with a child with autism and 437 families of kids without. None of the children had a diagnosis of intellectual disability.

Moms of children with autism were more likely to report adjusting their environment or their communication to suit their child’s needs and were more intimately involved in problem-solving for their kids.

What’s more, even though children with autism displayed more behavior problems, the study found that their parents were less controlling. It’s unclear, the researchers said, whether this is because such moms are more concerned with addressing the cause of their child’s behavior or if these parents are simply conditioned to expect less.

“Many mothers reported important strengths in adjusting their behavior to the diagnosis of ASD for their child. We do not know whether this is a result of parent involved interventions or whether mothers spontaneously attune and respond to their child behavioral cues,” researchers from University of Leuven in Belgium said in their findings.

“These results suggest that parenting behavior may be important to consider in problem behavior in children with ASD and the effectiveness of interventions focused on parent behavior merits further examination,” they said.

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Comments (27 Responses)

  1. Sarah says:

    Parenting a child with autism can be very stressful. When your child is diagnosed, there is no roadmap, no rule book and noone to tell you how to handle it best. Our kids struggle with a host of issues from sensory intergration problems, language delay or inability to communicate at all to GI issues and seizures. This causes the kids a lot of frustration and they often act out. My son for example bolts when he is stressed. Do we make mistakes? yes, of course we do because we too are always learning. We are not bad or overly permissive parents. We want our kids to behave. We are human. Autism can be overwhelming. I call parenting a child with autism “extreme parenting” because that is what it’s like. Sometimes we feel more scrutinized and judged. I wish people could walk a mile in my shoes so they could see what it is like. Not sure if a study can truely capture what a challenge autism is for the parents.

  2. patty says:

    Of course we discipline them differently – the normal methods for disciplining do not work on children with autism!
    Of course we are “more intimately involved in problem-solving” – we have more problems with these children!
    Of course we parent differently – our children are different!

  3. Bill says:

    I am endowed with Asperger’s.
    This is one of those “duh!” slap the forehead articles. Of course parents of autism spectrum children are going to have to approach parenting and discipline differently.
    I think the hardest thing for neurotypical parents to grasp is the concept of face blindness. If my wife changes her hairstyle, I am unable to recognize her.
    Your autistic child may very well not recognize you; the child may simply be inured to the routine of this large identity-less creature which make demands, forces actions and provides food (food which often has nasty flavors and textures.) Love you? When they may not even recognize you? Maybe “love” at an instinctive, biological level, like a chick that has imprinted on its mother. Certainly won’t recognize subtle facial expressions; only the most extreme, harsh vocalizations might have an effect. (I felt no emotion when each of my parents died, and frankly have seldom ever thought of them since, even though I suppose they were nice parents. Do I lack empathy, no, I don’t think so, in fact I would get very emotional and sad if it was obvious my mother was sad, but she is not sad now, she no longer has the emotions of fear or sadness, and thus I no longer connect.)
    What I just wrote is true and accurate for me and many on the spectrum, and I sadly know will hurt some neurotypicals, and I feel bad for hurting them, but sometimes it is much better to know the truth, for with it comes enlightenment. When I found out I had Asperger’s and learned how I differ from NT’s it helped me formulate strategies to share the world with NT’s, and I write this with the fervent hope that what I have just written, however jarring to NT sensibilities, will open a crack into the autistic mind and give insight into what may drive some autistic behavior. NT’s use shame, dirty looks and tone of voice as reasonable methods of discipline. Sorry, I didn’t understand “dirty looks”. Tones of voice don’t work well either; I can’t even recognize my own children’s voices if they telephone me. Calls at work are awkward; I have no idea who is calling me if they don’t say their name, and I have to answer ambiguously until something about the context of the call, or their regional accent finally clues me in to whom I am speaking. (I went to a Catholic grade school, and every nun looked the same to me, unless unusually tall or fat!) I am an engineer, and learn people at work by where they sit and what their job functions are, and after I leave a job, I forget everything about them almost immediately.

    You say to the autistic child “give Jimmy the ball!”. The autistic brain is saying “what is a jimmy?”, even if he has sat next to Jimmy all year.
    By the way, I have an odd sensory integration issue; I “hear” my vestibular system (sense of balance system); it sounds like a dial up internet connection when I first get up in the morning.
    Autistics and NT’s are as different as cats and dogs. Of course the parenting will have to be completely different.

  4. carrie a. says:

    Really this is either the worst review of a study ever or just a poorly done study. I’ll let anyone borrow my kid so they can try parenting him like a non-asd child. Good luck with that.

    Before my son was diagnosed, I was a strict parent. It didn’t work out well for my kid and it didn’t help understand himself or the world he lived in. All it did was leave everyone frustrated and broken. When I took a different approach, taking into account his autism (sensory issues, adhd, anxiety, the way he processes information, et al) his life and his behavior improved and so did mine. He’s making progress instead of being stuck in a circle of frustration and punishment.

    This article does nothing but further the notion that autistic kids can be disciplined out of being autistic and that it’s all mom’s fault they don’t have perfectly normal kids. This junk science.

  5. Eric says:

    Thank you to those commenting who referred to parents instead of just mothers. While traditional thought may dictate that mother’s are the primary caregivers, I’m insulted when I read articles or studies that leave out the father or portray him in a supportive role. And I agree with the comments here. Routine interventions and approaches just don’t apply. I connect with my son…on his level. We work off of one another and appreciate each others idiosyncrasies. You will likely not find many of my approaches in any text book but I assure you that they are effective. Here’s to all of the parents out there doing their best!

  6. Cyndy says:

    Re:Bill’s post
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I read the article on ASD Parenting Styles and thought, what an incredible waste of my time. And next scrolled down to see what others were posting about it. That’s when I realized that the nugget I gained from it was Bill’s post. I’m sorry for your challenges. I’m sorry NTs dont get it. I appreciate you sharing what you did. It was profoundly impactful for this single mom to a 15 yr old young man with moderate ASD and extreme behavior problems. Do I parent differently than NTs, yep, quilty as charged…have to…trained to…it works most of the time. The alternative???

  7. Jodi says:

    I know that not many will agree with me, but I agree that some parents of children with special needs are overly lax with their children. I have a child with autism, and I have Aspergers. Both children are parented differently, and I have different expectations for both of them. Both children are wonderful children. That being said, I have worked a lot in the special needs community and I do see some parents using their child’s condition as an excuse to not enforce any standards. The children are really not pleasant to be around. The vast majority of parents are wonderful, but there are a few children in particular that as a VIP coach for various teams will NOT coach, because their parents will not discipline, and expect you not to discipline either. For example, there is a little boy with Down’s Syndrome who told other children that he was going to kill them at a soccer game. I benched him, and the parent got mad at me for telling him that the behavior was inappropriate. A parent can positive parent, and still hold their children to certain limits. I won’t discipline my child for things that have to do with sensory, or when he swears (he has a tourettes like syndrome). But recently he has resorted to ripping his shirts like the Incredible Hulk to get attention. I make him wear the ripped shirts, even though he hates it (he thinks that if he rips his shirts, he should get new shirts, and that’s not acceptable). Another thing he does is when he gets mad, he will let my siberian husky out. She’s a runner, and I end up spending hours looking for her. He gets a consequence for that too. Being positive parent does not mean that children go without consequences for their actions. It just means that things associated with their condition are either ignored or a different form of parenting is used.

  8. Martha Brecher says:

    Thank you, Bill, for your post. Your comments were invaluable, in stark contrast to the article about this study. That anyone wasted scarce dollars testing this study’s hypothesis is discouraging to me, when the answer is so obvious to all of us who parent children with autism. On the other hand, Bill, your description of what you see/don’t see, hear/don’t hear were excellent reminders that we, as parents, most often have no idea what is happening in our children’s heads. Again, many thanks.

  9. Bebe says:

    I’ll help you clear the following statement up:
    It’s unclear, the researchers said, whether this is because such moms are more concerned with addressing the cause of their child’s behavior or if these parents are simply conditioned to expect less.

    We don’t expect less of our children with autism. Our children with autism have rules to abide by as well. What is the sense in giving a child a consequence or punishment for a behavior that is beyond their control. There is certainly and antecedent (cause) as to why the behavior is occurring. It is our job as the parent to figure out why the behavior is occurring and model appropriate behavior, redirect the behavior, extinct the behavior, or provide a consequence in a form that is appropriate for the desired behavior.

  10. Rayne says:

    Mom’s? What about both parents, family, friends, educators, yadda yadda yadda. When will they stop funding these silly so called “researches” What good did this do to tell us what we already know? I’m a better mom due to having a child on the spectrum but I don’t think it’s realistic to limit it to only mom’s. Ever since my child was diagnosed and received support, each of the support team he’s been in contact treats him with UNDERSTANDING, so yes…perhaps we should spend the “research money” to train the rest of the world.

  11. Sharon says:

    I think what this study really showed was the over-emphasis placed, yet again, on parents and not the actual disorder. Do I parent differently than most? YOU BET! I have to be ever vigilant for the elopement, sensory & behavior outbursts, and the school & service systems growing complacent and lax. NT Parents do not have to deal with any of this. Throw in doctor appointments, trying to provide some attempt at socialization, and trying to attempt to have a semblance of your own life…well…of course it looks different than other parents. Do I have different expectations? Of course but to say I don’t discipline my child and I have “been conditioned to expect less” just shows the biggest problem that ever parent who has a child/ren with ASD faces–THE ATTITUDE OF OTHERS. We are more adaptive at assessing a situation and trying to deal with it. I may not be perfect but I do feel I am better than this study suggests. Judge not lest you be judged.

  12. Whitney says:

    I am not a parent but I am going say that parents parent each child differently not just Autistics. It is like saying two NTs are exactly alike and should be parented the same way. If you have two Autistics would parent them the same way the answer is No. Parents are parenting based upon the child needs and children do have personalities that different from each other. Autism Spectrum you have considerations that a non autistic that are not present. Parents respond to the stimili is given. I think the research is bad here it takes premise that all NT children are the same and Autistics are different group. I am saying all children in both groups are exactly the same pertaining to that group. Which is not the case. Not all NT children are the same personality wise. Each one gives different cues and parents respond to those cues. The same is true about Autistics not all autistics have the same personality as well. Parenting is based upon individual child giving off the similar cues and both NT and Autistic just give off different set of cues.
    So the response is different. NT children will present one set of problems and Autistics will present another. There is a such thing is over politeness and sometimes people need the whole truth.

    The truth is this bad study when you weigh in common sense.

  13. Sue Keller says:

    Positive guidance is exactly what early childhood experts recommend so any parent who uses “positive parenting, encouraging good behavior rather than focusing on the bad” has had good advice. Also we want kids to look for positive reinforcement of what they are doing well. Some kids can fixate on doing something bad because it garners attention, even though it’s undesirable attention in the form of discipline or punishment.

  14. Jacqueline says:

    Really! Really! Done, done, done…too tired of dealing, regrouping and trying again – to respond to this. Thank you all for your responses and time.

  15. Lela Robichaux says:

    Really? We wasted money on this? Duh, parents with kids who have autism parent differently! This money could have been better spent on a legit study.

  16. Reba says:

    I am the parent of a child with ASD, and I am not going to be a parent who expresses the role of parenting her child as a burden and a heroic act–or as something so “special” that others can never understand as some parents love to do. That storyline is an old, conventional, and self-pitying role to wear and it plays right into the hands of the media who wish to objectify humans with autism as “mysteries” and “aliens.” It supports the “charity” and medical” model (Eugenic) approach still alive and well, also used by quack organizations like Autism Speaks–it is aiming to eliminate differences from society. They do not represent my family at all.

    I will not perpetuate the stereotypes. Humans have always had a range of neurological diversity, and that’s why this world is worthwhile. We would not have Glenn Gould, Einstein, Beethoven, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Edison, and Stevie Wonder if we eradicated our range of physical and neurodiversity. We need all difference to thrive as a society, and accepting difference as a natural part of life is key to our survival.

    “Experts” keep selling the line that people with autism have no empathy. This is not the case, as many disability activists with autism tell us (if we would only listen–but they don’t get much air play). From what I see and experience as a parent, it is the “Neurotypicals” (NTs) who are the most frightening: they will bully and exclude those who have neurological differences because they cannot accept any differences; they fear differences. Yet we never see mass media questioning NTs’ ability to empathize with others. Media promotes and perpetuates erroneous views of Autism to dehumanize and “other” people with autism. No one ever questions it in the mainstream.

    I urge you all to step out of the comfort zone of the status quo and learn more about ableism, as we need to learn about any ‘ism’. Ableism is social construct that is meant to separate us from others and to divide us into the “haves” and the “have not’s.” We need to face our internalized ableism–how we mimic the words of the mainstream media and contribute to the “othering.” Understand how much we as parents and adults perpetuate media stereotypes and thus help create a culture where “fixing” and, disturbingly even murdering, people with autism is depicted by the media as understandable (what a “burden” that child was, they say, to justify the thousands of murders).

    We created a culture where people with autism are seen as “less than,” but don’t play that dangerous game. My son can grow, learn, make mistakes, and learn some more as he goes–like all of us do, and I want to counteract the mass media messages of his worth. I want him to know that he is beautiful and that he belongs fully and he contributes to the world, as we all do. He will find his way as an adult to contribute to society (and hopefully in a changed society that will be more open to differences). I am learning as much from him as he does from me, and we look hard to locate positive messages about being different.

    He doesn’t need to talk or behave like NTs for me to see his deep curiosity and love for other people. The “experts” of today were the lobotomists of yesterday. If we can learn the medical and social history of people with disabilities and put ourselves on guard from using the biased language that elevates NTs as martyrs or saviors or experts, we can improve the lives for all people.

    What is “normal” is a social construct that changes throughout history. Normal is a box that none of us really fit in comfortably and it shuts out so many people with real gifts to give society. That said, the “normal” box really harms those we “other” the most. I for one will examine who built this box and why they built it, and why they cling to its myth so tightly. I won’t play victim to its confines nor let it limit my son’s light from shining. Wake up, people!

  17. Bill says:

    Whitney brought up an excellent point; no two children are alike, and that goes for children on the autism spectrum too.
    I am honest to a fault (I keep quitting or being fired from engineering jobs for refusing to risk death and destruction by violating safety codes, and I have been explicitly correct in my predictions of subsequent catastrophes several times). I have an Aspie son who has earned a degree in mathematics, and was an easy child to raise. I have another (much older) Aspie son who is incorrigible and dishonest and I no longer have any reasonable expectation of him ever holding down a job for any length of time, and he was hell to raise. Every one of my children was different to raise, every one of my siblings (many also Aspies) is different.
    One of my biggest frustrations as a parent raising Aspies was NT parents who felt spanking a child was child abuse. I have a responsibility as a parent to teach enough discipline to keep my child from, for instance, running out into the street. For an NT parent and an NT child, a frown, or a warning tone of voice is enough. It communicates to the child that the parent’s emotions are changing, and the NT child’s emotion may change to shame or fear. The frown or warning tone probably will not work on the autistic child, the child will not connect with the emotions, and will continue heedless. You can’t just ignore it and let your child run out into the street because some NT parent will think it is child abuse because you swat your child’s bottom, a swat meant more to be symbolic, just like the frown, than to cause pain.
    You cannot as an NT even judge pain in an autistic person. I can have dentistry without anesthetic. I believe that resilience is not because I do not feel pain, I believe it is because pain does not influence my emotions. Many times I have continued to report to school or work with untended broken bones, and simply limped for as many weeks as it took for the broken foot, or broken leg, or broken pelvis to heal. My one son broke his arm at the wrist and dislocated a shoulder in a bicycle accident. At the emergency room, they caught and dealt with the dislocated shoulder, but they completely missed the broken arm. They assumed that if he had to hold a weighted bucket for the shoulder X-Ray, there must not be anything seriously wrong with the arm. The broken arm finally got diagnosed a week later when he kept complaining his arm hurt when he tried to use it. If as part of the diagnosis process, a doctor asks a person to perform X action (push, pull, lift), he expects an NT person to not even attempt, or immediately stop doing something painful. An autism spectrum person will do exactly what the doctor asks without hesitation. I once wen in for an arm broken at the wrist, did all of the actions requested by the doctor, and was sent to another doctor with a misdiagnosis of a shoulder injury, so they X-Rayed my shoulder. For the next few weeks at work, every time someone shook my hand, my hand and wrist pulled off of my arm by an inch or so. It eventually healed OK, but it took over a year.
    This same son was always getting serious injuries, and even as an adult continues to injure himself due to a risk-taking nature and an intrinsic inability to contemplate consequences.
    I once took my children on a vacation to an ocean, and it was stormy that day, with heavy seas, but the pier, with its sturdy guard rails and toe-boards looked safe enough, and I wanted my children to see the power and fury of an ocean from a safe vantage point. My reckless son proceeded to crawl under the rails and hang fifty feet in the air over the raging ocean. I grabbed, him, threaded his torso back through the guard rails and onto the pier, and promptly scolded him and gave him a swat. An NT parent scolded me like I was a child abuser because I spanked my child.
    So very nice, well-intentioned NT’s have told me how not to raise my children, when they do not have a clue what it is like to be inside or outside of the autism spectrum mind.

  18. Janet says:

    My goodness, of course we parent them differently! Most of us parents started off with the same rule book that others had and then moved to those designed for out-of-control or challenging children then seeking professional help. Early on, we tried normal methods and then very strict methods which only escalated everything. Over time, we’ve recognized to help these children learn and grow, we must raise the bar slowly, provide a ton of encouragement and YES help make the world support them a bit as we continue to raise the bar for them. This is not some failure on the part of the parents, but is based on years of experience first trying the typical approaches and then working with professionals to help establish approaches that work with our children. To be honest, I have had some professionals suggest approaches which created a backlash of issues and very unsafe home environment, but have had a few that truly understood and suggested approaches which allowed us to make progress (at a slower rate than we’d hoped) AND also keep/create a safe home environment. I am now seeing some of the benefits of this approach and can assure you it is the ONLY way that my children would have made so much progress. Clearly, we need to come up with some way to educate our professionals on what truly works for these children, because we parents of teenagers and young adults definitiely know… it’s a very different parenting style than we planned to use. In the end we are not the the parents we planned to be, but we are the parents our children needed.

  19. Sarah says:

    I think about this subject from a totally different perspective. I think ALL children do, and would, benefit from the parenting strategies described in this article. My child is NT, but my husband and I naturally parent in a positive parenting style. Early on, I was exposed to creating a positive home environment because my sister was not NT. Currently, I am a Special Education Preschool teacher and I use the same type of strategies when working with my students. Additionally, it is becoming more common for schools to adopt school-wide Positive Behavior Support.
    I think all of this comes down to the fact that parents of children with autism (along with children with other disabilities and special needs) and parents of typical children adjust to their child’s needs, as it should be.

    I would like to see this topic discussed in terms of generalizability for all children, not just “what works” or what parents of children with special needs have “compromised” to be successful. I get to see the success of implementing positive behavior strategies in general education classrooms on a daily basis.
    In my opinion, these practices should be the norm, not reserved for specific children, nor disparaged due to long-standing successful parenting children with special needs.

  20. Sherry Browning says:

    Of course parents of children with autism parent differently. They appropriately adapt. It is not appropriate to mindlessly use traditional discipline techniques that take the child into a melt-down. A totally distressed child is not learning and it is painful for everyone else in the family. Good parents push their children to learn and grow but don’t push them over the edge.

  21. Karen Kelly says:

    My son is now age 40, a nonverbal low functioning ASD who stands 6’5″ and weighs 250 pounds. He has lived in residential care for over 20 years. His NT sister is 30, IQ around 150, finishing her graduate degree, highly verbal, mother of a very bright 7 year old daughter. Of course I parented/mothered/raised them differently, just as my parents raised two very bright daughters in th 1950s and 1960s (me the rebel, my sister the good girl). My son has just learned to say “I love you” to his dad and to me in his own sign (patting his chest over his heart and throwing us kisses) in the last couple of years. I respond differently to his “I love you” than I do to his adult sister’s “I love you” because they are such different people.

    As a college professor and a researcher, this study is a big “DUH”! What a waste of research funds!

  22. Whitney says:

    I am agreeing with Ms. Kelly here. It seems to be waste funds. Yes parents parent differently depending on the child regardless he/she is a NT or ASD. I think studies should be done on how improve the Quality of Life. Or invest in jobs for ASD or traing.

    To much funding is going for cures and treatments of ASD. When non treatment and providing the job will help people with ASD more than these studies. I am not saying they are without merit but it should be balanced with the ASD communities needs as well.

  23. Tina Dyches says:

    I read the news article by Shaun Heasley as well as the research article by Maljaars and colleagues. Going to the primary source is critical to make informed opinions. It appears that Maljaars et al. are confirming what we know about parenting in general – that positive parenting behaviors (which could be typified as an authoritative parenting style rather than authoritarian, permissive, or neglectful style) are important for all children, not just neurotypical children. This is what Sue Keller indicated in her post about positive parenting.

    Maljaars et al. indicate that very little research has been conducted related to parenting behaviors of children with ASD, and this research helps fill the gap. What I have learned from this study is that parents of children with ASD are doing remarkably well adapting to their unique needs of their children with ASD. They are attending to the functions of the behavior of their children and adapting the environment to meet these needs rather than setting strict rules and punishing their children when they break the rules. This functional assessment approach differs from parental (and even teacher) behaviors so prevalent in prior to the 1990s. It is a strong message that mothers in this study are using approaches that are likely to enhance the social and functional development of their children. Kudos to the researchers for conducting this study, and for demonstrating that in this sample of mothers, they are using parenting practices that have been found in other research literature to be important for children’s growth and development.

    Our research team conducted a study related to parenting styles of children with developmental disabilities (including ASD) where we called for more research in this area, as we found moderate effects between positive parenting and child outcomes.

  24. CharliAnne says:

    Well, let’s hear it for evolution. That is what ALL parents do regardless of child(ren)s diagnosis. All parents parent differently because each child needs something different. We just learn “you have to pick your battles – everything can’t be a battle” a little sooner. We spend so much time and energy fighting school districts, state agencies, spouses, co-workers, etc, we just can’t keep fighting about everything. We learn to prioritize (should I play hooky from work or let my child’s services expire?), is it more important that his/clothes match or that they simply have some on, etc. Do I continue to be a tax-paying citizen and put my child in an institution because my waiver provider can never find me a quality person? How will I be able to pay bills if we get a divorce? How will I get a shower or grocery shop if I get a divorce? When my other kids leave home, who will watch him/her so I can use the bathroom in private? (At this point, showering has left the list of wants.We (me n autism) go no where. We order everything off the internet.) Why again do we have to wait until a child is 18 to be their waiver worker? Kids 14 are spending the night with friends, going places, learning to drive, watching younger siblings so you can afford to live in the meantime. They should be driving themselves, monitoring themselves, making their own popcorn and Ramen noodles, taking themselves to the doctor, not having to spend most of their time with only socks and underwear on because they are obsessed with strings and have found out that’s EXACTLY what clothes are made of!
    Legislation needs to evolve, especially with the SEVERELY autistic. There is NOTHING I would like more for my son and family than he not qualify for services because he has mellowed and he’s somehow become an Aspie and is just a little weird, but he eats normally, leaves clothes on, may learn to drive, may go to prom, may go to college, may marry, may have a family, may teach his own SOMETHING. But in the meantime, he stays shirtless, removes toenails (yes, the ENTIRE toenail – doesn’t even flinch), picks at sores, cuticles, etc ALL DAY LONG. Some days, I’d trade this for Tom Hanks’ character in “Castaway”. Still looking for my Wilson.

  25. www.amandachik.blogspot.com says:

    Summary= Yes, life is hard, but parents of kids with Autism kick major tail.

  26. Whitney says:

    Tina Dyches, what is the point of research if the conclusion already intuitively known. It benefits no one. It does not help the children in question with a better prospect of life. You already prove a fact that people parent on based on the child’s need. What is the benefit of this research? Parents roles are finite in person’s life regardless of ASD or some other developmental issue. What people care about is the child future these studies do not secure that. People grow old and die and the fact there is no system to help with the child’s future if they cannot take care of themselves. Research should benefit the society as a whole in some way. Discussing basic parenting techniques is pointless because children are individuals who have their own wants and needs. Many researchers in my opinion miss that obvious point that children are not guinea pigs but individuals who yet to mature in their unique way.

    Research: How does this study benefit the people in question? Does it provide a better quality of life in the study? What specific style of training that will benefit people with autism?

    The research: “Oooh There is child with autism let’s study it!” Needs to be limited. “It should be about that Child with Autism how do we make the child a productive member of society?”

    This study benefits only the researcher, not the parents and especially not the children with autism.

  27. steve says:

    My gf has an autistic 4 year old. She lets him do whatevrr he wants, eat or not eat whatever or whenever he wants, makes excuses when he pulls my kids hair or hits him, doesnt discipline him when he takes of running or behaves poorly.
    Ive taken him to his special ed classes and noticed most of the parents ignore when their kids behave poorly or rudely. They do focus on positive behavior, which is good, however otherwise ignoring poor behavior isnt acceptable just because their kid is challenged in some way

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