Autistica highlights strong evidence for new communication therapy

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Autistica, UK’s autism research charity, are recommending that all local areas should have healthcare professionals accredited to deliver a new form of communication intervention called PACT.

One of the best predictors of an autistic person’s life chances is their language and communication ability at a young age. Language and communication skills affect an autistic people’s mental and physical health outcomes, their likelihood of social exclusion, educational attainment and chances of finding employment. They are also recognised by NICE as a key factor in behaviour that challenges.

Until recently there has been little well-evidenced support available to support children on the autism spectrum with their long-term social communication skills. Recently a new form of intervention – parent-led video feedback therapy – has been tested to address this.

The first of these interventions: PACT (The Pre-school Autism Communication Therapy) is now ready for use in the NHS. PACT is the only therapy of this type in the UK to have been rigorously tested in a Randomised Control Trial. Studies show that it can significantly improve children’s social communication skills for over six years after the therapy is delivered.

Autistica have now published an evidence summary to inform NHS providers, commissioners and healthcare professionals about these therapies, the cost of delivering them and where they can find accredited training.

The charity recommends that, when clinically appropriate, all local areas should provide parent-led video feedback therapy as an early intervention for pre-school and school-aged children on the autism spectrum. Read Autistica’s evidence summary online

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NOTES

Autistica is partnering with ACAMH for the upcoming Jack Tizard Memorial Lecture and Conference

Dr James Cusack, Director of Science for Autistica, will be giving a lecture at the upcoming ACAMH Autism Symposium

Autistica (2018). Autistica Evidence Summary – Parent-led video feedback therapy: communication interventions for young autistic children.

Autistica is the UK’s leading autism research charity. Autistica’s research is guided by families and autistic individuals, with the aim of building longer, happier, healthier lives for all those living with autism. Since 2004 they have raised over £12 million in support of autism research.

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