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Pivotal Response Training (PRT) is a method of systematically applying the scientific principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to teach learners with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). PRT builds on learner initiative and interests, and it is particularly effective for developing communication, language, play, and social behaviors. This module will describe the fundamental principles of PRT, its conceptual framework, and how it can be implemented in a variety of settings with learners who display a range of ability levels and who have differing needs.

  • What's Included
  • 62 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $30 certficate
  1. Identify the guiding principles of PRT and why it was developed
  2. Describe the four pivotal areas that have been defined by PRT research
  3. Describe at least two different teaching strategies used for each pivotal behavior
  4. List examples of how to implement PRT in a variety of settings
  5. List examples of how to apply PRT strategies with learners with varying skill levels and challenges
  6. Identify the evidence base for PRT

Module Authors

Laurie Vismara, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Laurie Vismara has spent the last 15 years contributing to the science, program development, and therapy of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). She uses online platforms and travels throughout the United States and internationally to help families and publicly funded early intervention agencies develop ESDM programs in 1:1 intervention, parent coaching, and group preschool models. Her co-authored book, An Early Start for Your Child with Autism covers practical strategies and tips for families to use the ESDM with their children, especially while waiting for intervention services to begin. Her second book to help early intervention providers coach families in the ESDM is coming soon.

Module Contributors

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education from 2007-2014. The work of the NPDC was a collaboration among three universities-the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the MIND Institute, University of California-Davis. The goal of the NPDC was to promote the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for children and youth with ASD, birth to 22 years of age.

Module Content Provided By

Content for this module was developed by The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

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.

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