Improving Parents as Communication Teachers (Project ImPACT) is a 12- to 24-week intervention program designed to improve the social skills of young children who have an ASD.

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Helping you ImPACT your child’s life

Young children with autism often cannot talk or play well. What can parents do to help their children learn these skills? The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Autism Center has a therapy called ImPACT that teaches parents how to help their child talk and play better.

What is it?

ImPACT, (Improving Parents as Communication Teachers) is a 12-to-24 week therapy program. Parents actively take part in the program. It helps parents improve the social and language skills of young children with autism.

Research studies show this program works well.

Who can come?

This program is offered to children between ages 1 and 6. It works best with children who are not yet talking in sentences. Children need to have an autism spectrum diagnosis – ASD, Autistic Disorder, or a pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

At least one parent must be able to come to and take part in each session.

When will it be held?

There are two choices:

  • A 13-week training program held twice yearly (once in the fall and once in the winter/spring). This program includes a parent group and one-on-one training.
  • A 12-24 week one-on-one training program, offered by a small number of staff throughout the year.

Both programs are held at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

What does it cost?

You are responsible for all costs. It is important that you call your insurance company before the therapy starts to see if they will pay for your visits with a psychologist, social worker, or speech therapist. If your insurance company asks for billing or other codes, you can get that information when you call us.

Center for Disabilities and Development ImPACT Trainers

  • Todd Kopelman, PhD
  • Kelly Pelzel, PhD
  • Molly Jones, MA, CCC-SLP
  • Paige Burden, MA, CCC-SLP
  • Jennifer Luria, LISW
  • Pena Lubrica, MA, CCC-SLP

For more information: