The present study adopts a randomized experimental design to evaluate the impact of a father-mediated therapy to improve the play skills, affect, language, social skills and behavior among 30 clinically diagnosed autistic children at the age of 3-5 years. Standardized inventories such as, The Play Based Observation (PBO), The Griffiths Mental Developmental Scales (GMDS), The Vineland Social Maturity Scale (VSMS) and the Rendel Shorts Questionnaire were administered pre and post intervention. A special program that involved fathers in the caregiving and nurturing processes of these children was designed and implemented for 6 months after which the children were reassessed. Prior to the intervention, deficits in play skills and developmental delays across expressive and receptive language were observed. Scores on the Vineland Social Maturity Scale and the Rendel Shorts revealed behavioral markers. Post intervention, we noticed significant differences in the play, language acquisition, social engagement and behavior in the treatment group in comparison to the control group. The results suggested that father-mediated therapeutic involvement significantly has proven to positively foster development in young autistic children and this is an important implication for practitioners in developing early intervention programs. (Author abstract)
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