Introduction: Children with autistic spectrum disorder
(ASD) often have associated behavioural difficulties that
can present a challenge for parents and parenting.
There are several effective social learning theory-based
parenting programmes for dealing with behavioural
difficulties, including the Incredible Years (IY) parent
programmes. However, these programmes typically do
not specifically target parents of children with ASD.
Recently, a new addition to the IY suite of programmes
known as the IY Autistic Spectrum and Language
Delays (IY-ASLD) parent programme was developed.
The main aims of the present study are to examine the
feasibility of delivering this programme within child
health services and to provide initial evidence for
effectiveness and economic costs.
Methods and analysis: The Parenting for Autism,
Language, And Communication Evaluation Study
(PALACES) trial is a pragmatic, multicentre, pilot
randomised controlled trial comparing the IY-ASLD
programme with a wait-list control condition. 72 parents
of children with ASD (aged 3–8 years) will be randomly
allocated to either the intervention or control condition.
Data will be collected prior to randomisation and
6 months postrandomisation for all families. Families in
the intervention condition only will also be followed up
at 12 and 18 months postrandomisation. This study will
provide initial evidence of effectiveness for the newly
developed IY-ASLD parenting programme. It will also
add to the limited economic evidence for an intervention
targeting parents of children with ASD and provide
longer term data, an important component for
evaluations of parenting programmes.
Ethics and dissemination: Approval for the study
was granted by the Research Ethics Committee at the
School of Psychology, Bangor University (reference
number: 2016–15768) and the North Wales Research
Ethics Committee, UK (reference number: 16/WA/0224).
The findings will be disseminated through research
conferences and peer-reviewed journals.
Trial registration number: ISRCTN57070414;