The Pre-school Autism Communication Trial-Generalised was a Medical Research Council randomised controlled trial that ran between 2016 and 2019.
In a previous study (the Pre-school Autism Communication Trial (PACT)), the research team tested a parent-mediated communication-based intervention for young children with autism. The PACT study found that the therapy helped to improve children’s communication with their parents. However, these improvements were not generalised to other settings.
PACT-G trial adapted the original PACT therapy, and aimed to assess the impact of the PACT-G social communication intervention in both home and education settings; and the combined impact of this in enhancing overall symptom outcomes.
Teams across Manchester, London, and Newcastle (comprising of speech and language therapists and researchers) worked with children, caregivers, and education staff, and measured the child’s social communication and autism symptoms before, during, and after intervention.
• Children who received PACT therapy started new communication more with their parent and their key person in education setting
• PACT-G therapy showed improved parent/carer well-being, both at home and in education
• PACT-G therapy improved children's emotional and behaviour problems, both in home and education
• PACT-G therapy did not reduce characteristics of autism
• PACT-G therapy did not improve language development or daily living skills