Asperger's Syndrome in Young Children: A Developmental Guide for Parents and Professionals

By Laurie Leventhal-Belfer; Cassandra Coe | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Parent–Child Therapy
An Intervention for Building Relationships

Lori Bond

When parents learn that their child has a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome they may have many questions and concerns. Parent–child therapy, the topic of this chapter, can be a helpful intervention to parents as they try to make sense of all of the new information that they have just received from an evaluation. Through parent–child therapy, the therapist and parents work together to understand the child's challenges and explore ways to facilitate the child's social, communication, and play abilities. The goal of parent–child therapy is to provide a setting for parents to enhance their understanding of their child and to gain support. Parent–child therapy is sometimes referred to as dyadic therapy because the therapist might meet with the parent(s) or with the parent(s) and child together.


Overview of parent–child dyadic therapy

The first goal of dyadic therapy is to provide emotional support to parents who are trying to understand the meaning of the diagnosis and the myriad of feelings that can occur when the diagnosis has been made. Parents might express confusion regarding different clinical terms they heard during a conference with a diagnostician, or they feel unsure about what to do next in terms of therapies that were suggested. The second goal of parent–child therapy is to create pleasurable opportunities for the parent and child to play together, thereby facilitating the parent's understanding of his/her child. Play provides the context for dyadic work because it is through play that

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