Connecting with Autism Final Report on the Evaluation of the Keyhole Rainbow Resource Kit

In Northern Ireland, increasing number of preschool children are being identified as having ASD. Families often feel helpless  as to how best to help their child. International experience suggests that positive changes are possible with early identification followed by consistent intervention that involves the parents and provides direct teaching of essential skills with a child. 

Latterly increased interest has centred on the use of structured play in home-based interventions. However it is not known the extent to which play activities can assist the child with ASD and the family or whether more structured approaches are required wither to facilitate the child's spontaneous play or to assist the child's learning when spontaneous play does not happen.

The overall aim of the Connecting with Autism Project is "to help families minimise the effects of autism and to ensure the educational and social development of children with Autism to their full early years potential." The main means for doing was the development and evaluation of a Keyhole Rainbow Resource Kit that would enable "parents to support their child through play". Families would have the support of a professional worker with experience of ASD in using the Kit.