01:30 PM - 02:30 PM - Robert Koegel: Keystone areas for Autism Intervention: Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) for Autism

Until relatively recently, autism has presented major challenges for treatment providers. Early behavioral research, however, by researchers such as Lovaas, Hewett, Lovett, Wolf, Risley, Sloane, etc. showed that behavioral interventions could substantially improve large numbers of individual target behaviors, including self-help skills, academic skills, disruptive behavior, and language skills. Over time researchers found that certain core pivotal areas of autism appeared to be responsible for very large numbers of response classes of both appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, and the possibility existed for developing a very efficient and effective treatment that could treat those “pivotal areas”, and could result in widespread, fluidly-integrated gains. Additionally ABA researchers, especially those in the area of PBS, developed iterations that relied both on data and also emphasized values such as preserving the dignity of the client and attempting to rely on nonaversive interventions. This presentation describes various pivotal areas that have been researched and one empirically validated intervention called Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT). Research outcomes, including single subject designs and randomized clinical trials will be presented as well as videotaped vignettes of PRT being implemented in order to see the actual implementation of the variables described above. The results are discussed in terms of suggesting directions for future research.