Autism Home Program for Parents

mother and child playing

Autism home program for parents can be a valuable resource for families. Autism home programs can teach parents how to develop effective autism home treatment plans. The programs also help families with newly diagnosed children learn more about autism. Learn about autism home programs and how they benefit children with autism.

About Autism Home Programs for Parents

An autism home program for parents refers to an autism treatment program designed to be organized by parents in the family residence. A number of home programs follow a certain type of treatment protocol, such as applied behavior analysis, to address various autism symptoms. Families can also choose to build home programs that include a combination of different types of therapies if it works better for the person with autism.

Parents can also choose to create a complete home-based autism treatment program for their children or a program that complements autism therapy outside of the home. Autism home programs can work for homeschooled children as well as children who attend school. In fact, a home program can help many children who attend school develop stronger communication and social skills to help them succeed at school. Parents interested in autism home treatment can choose to enroll in a full-service autism program, which provides all necessary program steps and instructions, or design their own program by hiring individual therapists and teachers. Many parents do a combination of these options.

Autism Home Program Examples

There are many options for autism home programs at various locations. One of the leading full-service home programs is the Son-Rise Program.

The Son-Rise Program

The Autism Treatment Center of America offers the Son-Rise Program, an autism program developed by Barry Neil Kaufman and his wife, Samahria Lyte Kaufman, based upon the successful treatment plan that helped their autistic son, Raun. According to the Son-Rise website, Raun no longer exhibits any symptoms of autism.

The Son-Rise treatment model emphasizes positive reinforcement, one-to-one teaching and interactive play strategies for parents to learn how to help their autistic children improve language, communication and social skills. Son-Rise views autism as a neurological condition and not a behavioral problem. For example, the program teaches that parents should respect a child's stimming and repetitive behavior, and join the child in the behavior because it encourages trust, social interaction and communication. The Son-Rise program can work well combined with other types of therapies, especially sensory integration therapy, biomedical intervention, gluten-free casein-free diets and auditory integration therapy. It also works well for home-schooled children as well as children who attend school. In fact, Son-Rise can help a child prepare to enter a mainstream school.

To learn the Son-Rise program, parent must attend at least one instructional course at the Autism Treatment Center in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Parents can choose between the Son-Rise Program Start Up, a five-day instructional course to learn program basics, or the Son-Rise Sequence, a package that includes a program foundation class and two additional advanced training courses. Additional training courses as well as instructional books, CDs and DVDs are also available.

After completing the program, Son-Rise provides support services through phone consultations, video consultations and at-home visits from local Son-Rise certified teachers.

Other Autism Home Programs

Parents can design an effective autism home program based upon the following types of treatment methods:

  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI): Dr. Steven Gutstein developed RDI, a parent-child centered program that focuses on improving social interaction and emotional responses. Parents and an RDI consultant work with the child in one-to-one activities and gradually work toward expanding the child's social interaction opportunities. The RDI program works on helping a child understand nonverbal clues, appropriate social behavior and greater awareness of the emotions of others.
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA): ABA is a one-to-one treatment plan that focuses on rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior, in order to encourage appropriate responses. Parents and children work with an ABA therapist who uses positive reinforcement of good behavior, repetition and structured teaching to improve communication, social interaction and language skills.
  • Floortime: The floortime treatment method involves child-led interaction to teach through play. The child-led interaction builds trust and encourages social interaction and communication. Over time, the parent can expand the child's social interaction and selection of activities at the child's pace.
  • Wraparound: Wraparound is a program that provides services in home, school and community environments according to the child's specific needs. A therapist works one-to-one with the child using approaches like discrete trial, applied behavioral analysis and Floortime

Many parents combine one or more autism treatments in their home programs.

Benefits of Autism Home Programs

Autism home programs allow parents to have full control over every aspect of their child's treatment. Many parents prefer home programs because they can work closely with their child and tailor treatments to the child's specific needs. The one-to-one activities of a home program help foster a close relationship between parents and autistic children. In addition, the fact that the home is also a classroom helps maintain the flow of learning for the child.

Is a Home Program the Right Choice?

It can be a difficult decision to determine whether a home treatment program is in the best interest of a child. Generally, some type of home autism treatment is a good idea for many children with autism whether they are homeschooled or attend a school, even if it is only to complement a nonresidential therapy.

If a child is thriving in her current treatment plan, it may not be a good idea to change it. However, if many available treatment options are unsatisfactory, a home program may be an improvement. A home-based autism treatment plan can also help parents work effectively with children at home.

Money is also a consideration. Depending on the home program, it can be less or significantly more expensive than sending a child to school and nonresidential therapy.


According to 1998 University of Utah study, quality home programs can be effective treatment options for children. Autism home programs for parents may be the answer for autistic children who do not respond well to traditional autism programs. In addition, the programs can help parents learn how to use interventions, which is an important factor.

Autism Home Program for Parents