Clinical Services - Child's Talk

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Who can participate in Child’s Talk?
Child's Talk helps children with autism and related language or social communication difficulties, whether these exist in isolation in children who are developing normally in every other area, or are associated with other difficulties. Child’s Talk is a social communication intervention which aims to normalize interactions as far as possible and significantly enhance the child’s social and communicative functioning.
Where is the evidence?
Child's Talk formed the primary pilot study on which the Pre-school Autism Communication Trial (PACT) was modeled (Aldred et al, 2004, Aldred & Green, 2008, Green et al. Lancet 2010). The pilot study tested the social communication intervention against treatment as usual in preschool children with autism (n=28, 14 in each group). Following the 12-month intervention, the study found a significant relative improvement in autism-specific symptoms, language and communication initiation and parent-child synchrony in the treatment group.
How does the Child's Talk programme work?
Child's Talk aims to establish underlying pre-language skills for later language and learning, including establishing foundations skills in focused shared attention, interaction, the understanding and use of language, communication initiation and conversation skills. The therapy is manualised with six developmental stages. Parents are guided on how they can help their child to move easily and effectively through the stages at their own individual pace.
The programme is tailored to the individual child and parents needs. The therapy is developmentally appropriate, natural and enjoyable for both parents and the child. The therapy is based on clinical experience and social communication research, using natural interaction, child play and daily routines.
Child's Talk helps parents make subtle changes to the interaction and giving a little of the right stimulus to promote the child’s development. The programme facilitates communication and language growth by helping parents to provide the right input that is tailored to the child’s developmental level and emerging skills. Parents undertake thirty minutes a day home practice, with carryover naturally and effortlessly into other daily routine situations.