Preschool and Communication Therapy (PACT) is an innovative program that addresses the communication needs of children ages 3 - 4 who are struggling to learn language.
The program focuses on structured, play and song based learning in both group and individual settings. It is held in a classroom-like environment to create a natural play context.
PACT also has a parent/guardian education component, which helps parents/guardians find camaraderie with one another and learn to better help their children.
The goals of PACT are to:
- Build the child's verbal and nonverbal communication, symbolic play, and joint attention skills
- Integrate parents into the intervention team to help hone the child's skills in natural environments
- Be respectful of home and cultural values and honor individual differences
- Teach age-appropriate preschool participation skills and emergent reading and writing abilities
- Decrease challenging behaviors by helping parents manage environmental stressors
- Develop positive and effective alternative communication forms to replace inappropriate interactive behaviors
PACT is staffed by two speech-language clinicians, a music therapist, and a few volunteers.
To be eligible for the program, children should have one or more of the following:
- A limited speaking vocabulary
- A delay in the ability to follow one- or two-step directions
- A delay in demonstrating pretend play and/or in stringing several actions together
- A delay in sharing interests with other peers or adults (joint attention)
- Poor eye contact