Project ImPACT – Parent coaching in autism

By March 2, 2020 May 14th, 2023 Project ImPACT
A therapist using Project ImPACT with a young boy who has autism to us parent coaching for children with autism

What is Project ImPACT?

Project ImPACT is  one of the most effective coaching programs for parents of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Project ImPACT teaches parents strategies to help their child develop social, communication, imitation, and play skills during daily routines and activities.

Project ImPACT is supported by research and based on developmental science and applied behavioural analysis (ABA) principles. The program:

  • Teaches core social communication skills in a developmental framework
  • Uses a blend of developmental and ABA teaching strategies within play and daily caregiving routines
  • Uses effective parent coaching and engagement strategies to help parents learn and use the intervention
  • Includes elements to support community use
  • Uses detailed procedures
  • Incorporates family-friendly materials
  • has two flexible delivery models

Who is it for?

Project ImPACT is for young children with social communication delays. This includes children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay. It is designed for children up to age six. It can be used for older children with cognitive and language delays.

How was Project ImPACT developed?

Project ImPACT is the result of over 15 years of research and development. The developers worked together with families, providers, administrators, and experts. This ensures that Project ImPACT is used effectively in a variety of community intervention programs.

Who can deliver the program?

A variety of early intervention professionals:

  • speech pathologists
  • occupational therapists 
  • BCBAs
  • special educators
  • social workers
  • psychologists

What can families expect?

Project ImPACT is a 12-week program that is delivered as an individual or group coaching model. Sessions coach parents on strategies to teach their child new social communication skills and manage their child’s behaviour.

Individual coaching model: The parent, child, and coach meet once or twice a week for 60-90 minute sessions for 12 weeks

Group coaching model: The parent attends six, 2-hour parent-only group sessions, and meets with the child and coach for six, 1- hour individual coaching sessions. Group and individual sessions alternate weekly for 12 weeks.

The coach and parent work together to set child goals, learn and practice, strategies and problem solve

Between session, parents practice what they learn to teach their child new skills

What are the benefits of parent training?

  • Children get many more hours of learning and practice, which improves their social communication
  • Children learn in meaningful activities, which helps them use skills in new situations and over time
  • Parents feel more confident supporting their child’s development
  • Parents experience less stress and have more positive parent-child interactions

Where can I access Project ImPACT?

OneOnOne Children’s Therapy is thrilled to be the first clinic in Australia to offer Project ImPACT. Our Clinical Director, Susan Marden, travelled to the USA in 2019 to take part in the training program. She became the first Certified Project ImPACT Coach in Australia and is now a Project ImPACT Trainer Consultant. The other therapists in our clinic have started training in the program and we look forward to having more certified coaches in our clinic. It is exciting to add Project ImPACT to our Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) intervention – helping young children with autism achieve their potential. Project ImPACT is our parent coaching program and ESDM is our individual intervention program. Both programs work together seamlessly. If you are interested in learning more about Project ImPACT then call us on (02) 80657837 or email us here.