Parent-Implemented Interventions Around the Globe

  • Kristen Gillespie-Lynch
  • Rachel Brezis
Part of the Autism and Child Psychopathology Series book series (ACPS)


Parent-mediated interventions for children with autism are spreading around the globe, heralded as the most practical response to a dearth in professionally trained interventionists. Yet the evidence base for these interventions remains unclear. In this chapter we survey published English-language evaluations of parent-mediated interventions from different continents, supplemented by an online survey of 29 interventionists from 11 countries, and an in-depth case study of the parent-led Action for Autism organization in New Delhi, India. Together, these data reveal that parent-mediated interventions are being used in many low-resource countries, yet inequities in access to these programs remain a challenge, due to financial, geographic, and cultural barriers. For those families that do access parent-mediated training, challenges to implementation include family and caregiver characteristics, as well as different cultural values (such as parenting practices, the willingness to question authority, and degree of understanding among extended family members). Interventions vary along a continuum of indigenously based and imported interventions, drawing from a range of Western interventions. While efforts to adapt and evaluate these interventions in low-income settings are applauded, methodological flaws (such as quasi-experimental designs and poorly validated outcome measures) as well as limitations in the evidence base of imported interventions in their countries of origin limit our ability to properly assess and compare the effectiveness of different interventions. Future research should focus on continued standardized evaluation of interventions, hand in hand with the careful adaptation and dissemination of parent-mediated interventions around the globe.


Parent-mediated interventions Autism World Global mental health Treatment evaluation Cultural adaptation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristen Gillespie-Lynch
    • 1
  • Rachel Brezis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCollege of Staten Island & The Graduate Center, CUNYStaten IslandUSA
  2. 2.Baruch Ivcher School of PsychologyInterdisciplinary Center HerzliyaHertsliyaIsrael

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