With the steady rise in the number of children diagnosed with autism, an increasing number of studies have been undertaken to provide therapeutic treatment and help these kids lead more independent lives as they grow up. Relationship development intervention is a new parent-based clinical treatment which tries to fix social problems that are at the heart of autism spectrum disorder, like friendship skills, and the desire and empathy to share personal experiences with others.
Relationship development intervention considers the ways by which typically developing children learn to forge emotional relationships from an early age. The intervention helps children interact positively with people around them, even sans any language. When children with autism learn to value and enjoy personal relationships, it will be easier for them to pick up language and social skills.
Relationship development intervention is based on the perception that children having autism missed a number of typical developmental milestones when they were toddlers or infants. Guided participation and similar activities can give them a second chance to pick up skills through play activities.
Here’s a practical example of relationship development intervention. The parent holds a chocolate in a closed fist. He/she then displays both closed fists to the child and then point with the eye towards the hand which has the chocolate. The child is given extended repeated opportunities to “find” the correct hand which has the chocolate.
Recent studies have indicated that relationship development intervention could be more effective than other therapeutic measures. But it’s a new concept and further researches are required.