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Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) builds on learner initiations and interests and is particularly effective for developing communication, language, play, and social behaviors. PRT was designed to create a more efficient and effective intervention by enhancing four pivotal areas of learning: motivation, responsivity to multiple cues, self-management, and social initiations. By targeting these pivotal areas, learners make widespread and generalized improvements in other areas. Over the past 30 years+, PRT has gained a strong foundation of empirical evidence. This module will introduce PRT, the history, and cover the four pivotal areas.

Estimated Time to Complete: 2 1/2 hours

  • What's Included
  • 38 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $25 certficate

Module Objectives:

  • Identify the guiding principles of PRT and why it was developed
  • Describe the four pivotal areas defined by PRT research
  • Describe at least two different teaching strategies used for each pivotal area
  • List examples of how to implement PRT in a variety of settings
  • List examples of how to apply PRT strategies with learners with varying skill levels and challenges

Module Authors


  • Alexis Boglio, M.A., BCBA
  • Rachel Anderson, M.A., BCBA

Modules on this site are always free. If you would like proof of completion, you can purchase a certificate when you have successfully completed this module. The certificate will provide contact hours for this module.

Graduate credit for courses is available through OCALI's partnership with Ashland University. Access information about course options and semester dates in the Search.

Continuing education credit from providers such as ASHA and NASW is in progress. For questions contact

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