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Does Broader Autism Phenotype in Mothers Affect Their Child's Degree of Progress Following Parent-Mediated Intervention?

Friday, 3 May 2013: 14:00-18:00
Banquet Hall (Kursaal Centre)
S. Wigham1, L. Gray2, A. S. Le Couteur3, H. McConachie4 and J. R. Parr5, (1)Newcastle University Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, United Kingdom, (2)Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, (3)Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, (4)Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, (5)Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Background:  Parent-mediated early intervention improves parent-child dyadic social communication between children with ASD and their parents (Green et al., and the PACT Consortium, 2010). However, some parents of children with ASD show ASD-type traits and behaviours – the Broader Autism Phenotype (BAP). Potentially, parental BAP might impact upon parent child interaction, and thus the delivery and effectiveness of parent-mediated intervention (Parr et al., 2011).

Objectives:  We aimed to investigate the relationship between mothers’ BAP traits and behaviours, and 1. change in mother-child interaction, and 2. their child’s progress following parent-mediated intervention.

Methods:  Family History Subject Interviews (FHI) (Parr et al., and the IMGSAC) were undertaken during a study investigating the reliability of the FHI when administered by telephone. Interviews were undertaken with 19 mothers from a Newcastle intervention study, in which archive data were also available on change in mother-child interaction strategies, and children’s developmental progress following intervention (McConachie et al., 2005).

Results:  There was a significant negative correlation between BAP total scores and mother-child interaction. At an individual level, there was less change in mother-child interaction scores for mothers who scored 2 or above on the BAP factor item total score. In addition, the children of mothers who scored 2 or above on the BAP total score showed less change in their expressive and receptive language scores following intervention.

Conclusions:  In this pilot and feasibility study, mothers with more BAP behaviours and traits showed less improvement in interaction with their child with ASD, and their children made less developmental progress. This finding potentially has implications for parent-mediated intervention for children with ASD. The influence of the BAP on parent-child interaction will now be measured in the Preschool Autism Communication Trial follow up study (commencing Spring 2013), as part of an investigation into the moderators of effective intervention, and the need to better understand how interventions should be individualised for particular children and families.

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