By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D
Founding Editor, bSci21.org
If you attended the 2015 ABAI Autism Conference in Las Vegas, you heard of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), a popular and effective approach commonly used with individuals with autism. If you aren’t yet familiar with PRT, AutismSpeaks.org provides a brief primer.
The key feature of PRT is the targeting of “pivotal” or critical areas of the child’s skill set that will then generalize across a wide range of behaviors not directly targeted. Pivotal responses typically include “motivation, response to multiple cues, self-management and the initiation of social interactions.”
An additional feature of PRT is the utilization of natural reinforcers, rather than those contrived by a therapist. In other words “if a child attempts a request for a stuffed animal, the child receives the animal, not a piece of candy or other unrelated reinforcer.”
Lastly, PRT is noted by its emphasis on play-based teaching, child-directed interactions, and an emphasis on parents providing much of the treatment.
To read more about PRT, visit AutismSpeaks.org for more details and many other related links.
Tell us about your experience with PRT in the comments below. Also don’t forget to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox
Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is President of bSci21 Media, LLC, which owns bSci21.org and BAQuarterly.com. Todd serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and as an editorial board member for Behavior and Social Issues. He has worked as a behavior analyst in day centers, residential providers, homes, and schools, and served as the director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas. Todd’s areas of expertise include writing, entrepreneurship, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Instructional Design, Organizational Behavior Management, and ABA therapy. Todd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.