Select Page

Parent-mediated social communication therapy for young children with autism (PACT): long-term follow-up of a randomised controlled trial

Note: This report has been widely covered by UK news channels including the BBC & ITV on Wed 26 Oct 2016

Autism East Midlands is very interested in the findings of the first UK study to report long term positive outcomes for children with autism. The study, published in The Lancet, was funded by the Medical Research Council, at the institute of Psychiatry, department for Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College, London. The findings state that pre school children who had received ‘Parent- mediated social communication therapy’ (PACT), continued to demonstrate ‘learned’ skills in social communication and sustained reductions in repetitive behaviours.

The importance of the social curriculum is hugely valued within our services. At Sutherland House School children receive support for social skill building through a range of individual and small group structured contexts, with plenty of opportunities to further practise and consolidate skills through meaningful and motivational activities such as our ‘Friends programme’, ‘Lego Club’ and ‘Communication Cafes’.

Autism Diagnosis and Assessment Elizabeth Newson Centre

“There are many important things that we can take from this study to support our current intervention programmes, particularly the focus on engaging in 1-1 interactions to facilitate key communication skills including ‘communication initiation’, ‘reciprocity’ and ‘conversational turn-taking’. Opportunities such as the findings of this study, allow us to understand more about how we can help children with autism to learn and maintain social communication skills over time in order to achieve their potential for social and academic success.”

Louise Pennington, Speech and Language Therapy Team Lead, Autism East Midlands.