Objective: This article reports on the acceptability and results from an evaluation of an empirically supported practice, The Incredible Years, tailored to parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Methods: Two groups of parents (N = 17) participated in a mixed methods test with no comparison group of the 15-week intervention. Data were collected at baseline, posttest, and on a weekly basis.
Results: Acceptability and attendance were high, attrition was modest, and parent stress decreased significantly after program completion. Parents highlighted several barriers to their success in the program, including difficulty applying some program content (e.g., time-out for noncompliance) to children with sensory or self-regulation challenges. However, participants reportedly enjoyed the play-based approach of the program, as well as opportunities for social support and peer learning.
Conclusion: The Incredible Years is a promising intervention for parents raising preschoolers with ASD. A randomized controlled trial is needed to rigorously test the intervention.
Bibliography: Dababnah S, Parish SL. Incredible Years Program Tailored to Parents of Preschoolers With Autism: Pilot Results.
Research on Social Work Practice. 2016;26(4):372-385. doi: