Parent-mediated intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders in South Asia Plus (PASS PLUS)
PROJECT AT A GLANCE
Funder: Grand Challanges, Canada
Duration: October 2014 – September 2016
Principal investigator: Dr Gauri Divan
Co-principal Investigator: Vivek Vajratkar
Project coordinator: Paciencia Rodrigues e Cardozo
Site Coordinator: Leena Gaikwad
Researcher: Ruplai Khambar,Sudnyanee Chougule,
Project Secretary: Nikhil Yadav
Clinical Consultant: Dr. Shilpa Huzurbazar
PASS PLUS is a continuation of Sangath’s work in Autism, especially the PASS project which culturally adapted the PACT (Preschool Autism Communication Therapy) intervention for delivery by non-specialist health worker and established its acceptability and feasibility in Indian context. The core focus of this intervention was communication.
To develop and evaluate a population based strategy for the early identification of children affected by ASD and estimate the coverage of
2. To develop and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a lay health worker delivered comprehensive intervention which addresses a wide range of unmet needs of families affected by ASD, by incorporating additional modules (for e.g. behaviour management, sleep management) to complement the core communication focused intervention (PASS)
Through the ARTI (Autism Research and Training Initiative in India; 2009-2012) project Sangath observed that children with Autism were identified late resulting in missed opportunity for early intervention and increasing the likelihood of secondary impairments. It was also observed that there was limited access to evidence based interventions, in large part due to the shortage of and the inequitable distribution of skilled specialists to deliver these interventions. Most services are concentrated in cities and are delivered by highly trained professionals in private clinics. This results in low follow up rates even for those families who can access services, leading to a very large treatment gap.
The ARTI project led to PASS project which adapted the PACT intervention to be delivered by non-specialist health workers. Besides establishing the feasibility and acceptability of the PASS intervention the project. It also identified that families were also concerned about other difficulties such as behaviour, sleep and toileting problems associated with Autism. The PASS PLUS project will address these problems through an expanded PASS package.
This project has been funded by Grand Challenges Canada and implemented in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra in collaboration with Sanwaad Clinic.
Dr. Gauri Divan: Speaker at Asia Specific Regional IMFAR , Shanghai 2015 presented in a panel titled Capacity building and networking autism screening, research, and intervention in Asia Pacific region. Also presented an e-poster on : The systematic adaptation of an evidence intervention for Autism for delivery in Low resource settings”.
Gauri Divan presented the work on the Community Informant detection Tool being developed as part of the project at the International Developmental Pediatrics Congress held in Istanbul in December 2015 in a section on early detection methodologies for low resource settings.
Click her to read the article : Adapting an evidence-based intervention for autism spectrum disorder for scaling up in resource-constrained settings: the development of the PASS intervention in South Asia.