Pivotal Response Treatment

A play based and child initiated derivative of ABA and one of the best studied and validated behavioral treatments for autism. Pivotal response treatment targets key areas of a child’s development in order to increase his/her responsiveness to the many learning opportunities that occur in the natural environment and create a more widespread improvement in communication, language, and social behaviors. It is play based and provided by psychologists, special education teachers, speech therapists, and other providers.

The program’s developers write:

“The ultimate goal of our pivotal response model is to provide individuals with autism with the social and educational proficiency to participate in enriched and meaningful lives in inclusive settings. The model uses data-based applied behavior analysis (ABA) procedures that are positive, self-reinforcing, and family centered.” Koegel, L., & Koegel, R. (1999). Pivotal Response Intervention I: Overview of Approach. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 24(3), 174-185.

See: https://education.ucsb.edu/autism/pivotal-response-treatment and https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/treatment/pivotal-response-therapy-prt

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