PASS Plus (‘+’)

Parent-mediated intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders in South Asia : PASS+

The PASS+ project aimed to address two major unmet needs of families affected by ASD in India: the lack of early identification delaying the initiation of treatment; and the lack of access to holistic evidence based treatment package due to geographical and human resource barriers. PASS+ had two arms of work, development of a package aimed at enhancing the early detection of ASD through a population based strategy (the Detection Package) and developing a holistic package of care for families of children with ASD for delivery by lay health workers (the Intervention Package).

The Detection Package resulted in the development of a pictorial tool for screening by frontline community health workers. The Intervention Package comprises a modular parent-mediated, non-specialist delivered intervention built upon the core PASS communication intervention. Additional modules address a range of needs of families, for example, behaviour, sleep management and inputs for sensory sensitivities. A single site randomised control trial was conducted in a rural area of western India, of treatment as usual versus enhanced care with PASS+. The results are awaited.

This work was carried out only in India in Kohlapur, Maharashtra by Sangath and was supported by a Grand Challenges Canada, Global Mental Health Grant. University of Manchester staff supported the development of the additional modules for the intervention package and the conduct of the trial.