PIVOTAL RESPONSE TRAINING (PRT)
One of the primary goals of PRT is to produce improvements that allow children with autism to learn in a similar fashion and rate to typically developing peers, and in natural inclusive environments. Using ABA principles, parents are primary intervention agents, working together with schools to improve pivotal behaviours. Pivotal behaviours are those that when targeted lead to other large collateral changes in often untargeted areas of functioning and responding. Using PRT has been shown to speed up the intervention process, make it feasible and cost effective to implement as it moulds itself to the family routines, and ensures any gains are generalised and maintained.
Dr. Koegel, featured in the video clip below is the co-founder at the Koegel Autism Research Centre. She helps implement the research of PRT at the Centre and is shown in the video using these PRT principles. The principles illustrated here are: 1) teaching occurs in the natural environment 2) parents are key to it's implementation 3) the techniques involve the whole family and fits in with their own specific family routines 4) motivation is built into the learning opportunities, using toys or activities that the child has chosen or enjoys 5) prompts are used to ensure success 6) all attempts are rewarded and reinforced 7) the reinforcement is immediate and contingent (linked to) with the desired response. In the first half the video shown below you will see Dr. Koegel use some of these techniques with a child with autism on the Supernanny show.