Thanks to a donation by International Paper, a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp, and paper products, the Spanish Association of Parents of People with Autism (APNA) will begin implementing Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy (PACT), a groundbreaking technique that aims to help autistic children develop their early social communication skills. APNA expects that the novel methodology will benefit over 200 families in Spain in 2021, with thousands more in the years to come.
A non-profit organization comprised of parents and guardians of people with autism, APNA is committed to improving the quality of life of people with autism and their families. Since 1976, it has been providing specialized services and professional care to children with autism or social communication needs in Spain through such schools as the Leo Kanner Special Education School (CEE Leo Kanner).
With the donation, APNA will provide PACT training to three professionals. The funds will also be used to equip CEE Leo Kanner, which specializes in autism spectrum disorders, with the materials it needs to become the first educational center in Spain to offer the PACT method. Developed in the United Kingdom, PACT is a parent-directed initiative that uses video- feedback to link the familiarity and skills of the child’s parent(s) or caregiver(s) to the specialist knowledge of therapists. Used by numerous national public health authorities in the UK, PACT is the only intervention of its type to have shown sustained symptom improvement in autistic children.
Supporting APNA is part of International Paper’s Vision 2030, which seeks to achieve thriving people and communities by strengthening the resilience of the communities in which the company operates. Besides the donation the company and APNA have also partnered to help raise awareness about autism amongst International Paper employees.