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Communication Program Didn't Improve Autism Symptoms

But it did enhance parent-child interaction, study found

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- A program to help autistic children communicate more effectively helps parents and kids understand each other but doesn't improve symptoms, a new study finds.

The program was designed to try to help autistic children develop better communication and social skills by teaching parents how to communicate with them with an eye toward their impairments.

Jonathan Green, of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues recruited families of 152 children -- aged between 2 to nearly 5 -- to take part in the study. Seventy-five of the children and their families took part in the program, attending several meetings over a year. The others received ordinary treatment.

The researchers found that while the program didn't reduce autism symptoms, it did help improve interaction between parents and their children.

The study was published online May 21 in The Lancet and was scheduled to be presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, which concludes Saturday in Philadelphia.

More information

To learn more about autism, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, May 20, 2010

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