What is PACT?

PACT is an evidence-based parent/carer-led video feedback intervention for children with social communication and language needs associated with autism. Here at Spectrum Connection CIC we are supporting parents with children aged five and under.

PACT connects professionals and parents or carers, and provides a focused communication intervention, using the knowledge and skills of adults who know the child best, in partnership with therapists with specialist knowledge and skills in autism.

The structured video feedback techniques helps parents or carers recognise their child’s existing communication. A therapist works in partnership with parents or carers, supporting and empowering them to develop enhanced skills, helping to embed this into family life, and create sustained change. Children are supported to develop their interaction and communication skills in their natural environment, which is an ideal way to ensure enduring benefits in social communication skills. This is NOT about changing a child, but about embracing them for who they are, changing the environment to support them, and being with them on their journey.

The PACT Intervention involves parents or carers attending 1:1 sessions, lasting approximately 1 hour every two weeks, and undertaking 30 minutes daily practice between the sessions. 1:1 sessions will last six months (12 sessions in total), with the option of monthly maintenance sessions following this, to generalise the therapy goals into daily life or routines and different contexts.

Why use PACT?

PACT is an intervention based on rigorous research. This research demonstrated that children who received PACT showed greater improvements in communication skills, with a reduction in difficulties in social, communication, repetitive behaviours and restricted interests. PACT provides the potential to change the lives of children on the autism spectrum and as a result, have a positive impact on the lives of their whole family. The research also showed that these improvements were sustained over six years after the intervention was delivered. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have recommended PACT be included in NHS services.

How is PACT delivered?

At the moment, PACT is delivered fully online. The PACT therapist will not directly meet your child, but you will take and send ten-minute video clips of you playing or interacting with your child before your 1:1 PACT session.

Before starting PACT, the therapist will offer an initial visit to discuss with you your child’s development and current strengths and needs. Your therapist will also ask you about your understanding of your child’s needs and your experience as parents and as a family.

During each PACT session, you will watch the video back together, then select and review video clips identifying and discussing with the PACT therapist the best individual communication strategies for your child. Your therapist will support you to identify positive moments and together discover what work best for your child.

Please contact us for further information.

Information adapted from PACT Training: information for parents.