Parent training programmes may be designed to teach parents how to deliver interventions to their own children (child-focused programmes) or they may be designed to teach parents how to cope with the difficulties of having a child on the autism spectrum (parent-focused programmes).
In some child-focussed programmes, the parents are taught to become the primary practitioner for the intervention (primary training programmes). In other child-focussed programmes, the parents are taught to work alongside professionals as co-practitioners (complementary training programmes).
Parent support programmes are designed to provide parents and carers with various forms of support. That support may be provided through the coordination of care to the family, for example, via the local autism team. Or that support may be provided via parent education programmes (interventions designed to tell parents about autism, related issues such as sleep problems, and the interventions and services that may be available to them).
In practice, some parent training programmes include elements of parent education and some parent support programmes include elements of parent training.
Many parent training and parent support programmes also overlap with other types of behavioural and developmental intervention. For example, some parent training programmes teach parents how to deliver comprehensive treatment models, such as the DIR method. Other parent training programmes teach parents how to use specific techniques such as modelling and reinforcement.
Examples of specific programmes in which there is a significant amount of parent training and support include:
Child-focussed parent training programmes
Parent-focussed parent training programmes
Parent support programmes