Pioneering therapy in line for award

12 May 2017 03:03

A PIONEERING new form of therapy, led by a Stockport doctor, to help children with autism has been shortlisted for a University of Manchester award.
The therapy is based on intervention techniques developed Dr Catherine Aldred, who works with children as a consultant speech and language therapist for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust. It has shown impressive results in the world’s largest long-term follow-up study of treatment for children with severe autism (known as core autism).
The techniques include parents watching videos of themselves interacting with their child, replaying selected clips and receiving session by session therapist feedback. Parents are then able to adapt their response to their child’s unusual patterns of communication.
Initial studies show that children aged two to four years, who received the intervention, had improved social communication and reduced repetitive behaviours. These children were looked at six years after the first trial, comparing the new technique with treatment as usual, and is the first study to show how symptoms in children with severe autism can be improved over the long-term.
The work is a finalist in the social responsibility category at the University of Manchester’s ‘Making A Difference’ awards, which recognise the outstanding achievements of staff, students, alumni and external partners.

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