Advanced Pediatric Therapies


Project Impact Training at Albertina Kerr

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On the weekend of April 24th and 25th, APT participated in Project Impact training at the Albertina Kerr Center.  Project Impact was created by Brooke Ingersoll PhD, and Anna Dvortcsak MS, CCC-SLP in order to help children with autism be able to connect with parents and caregivers in meaningful ways.  The program is the result of years of development and implementation in Oregon and Michigan.  The parent training program is a unique intervention technique which draws from both developmental and behavioral literature.  Therapists facilitate interactions between parent and child to bring about progress in communication, but also allowing for greater connection between them.

How do you know if Project Impact would be beneficial for your family?  Parents should be willing to participate directly with their child, have a schedule and the support that would accommodate the ability to participate, time and energy to devote, and who consider it a priority to be involved.  Your child should be 7 years of age or younger, have a communication related diagnosis such as autism and your child is working on social communication goals.

Why are parents trained instead of therapists implementing the treatment?  The involvement and commitment of parents ensures better generalization and maintenance of skills, increases parental optimism, decreases parent stress and is cost effective.  Parents live with the child, so obviously they can implement strategies all week long, not just during therapy.

What are the skills taught in Project Impact?  The core skills which are facilitated during Project Impact training are social engagement (ability to maintain interactions by responding to and initiating social bids by others), language (receptive and expressive abilities), social imitation (plays a critical role in development of other more complex social communication) and play (the cornerstone of development in children).  There are a variety of intervention techniques taught to parents which work on these skills.

IMG_7553Please ask your occupational therapist if you would like more information!


from “Teaching Social Communication to Children with Autism,” by Brooke Ingersoll and Anna Dvortcsak, The Guilford Press, 2010.

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