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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does PRT stand for?
    Pivotal Response Training
  • What are "pivotal" behaviors?
    Behaviors that are central to a wide area of functioning.
  • Which pivotal behaviors are central to PRT?
    Motivation and child self-initiations in all children. Responsivity to multiple cues and self-management may be pivotal behaviors in children with sufficient language.
  • How is PRT different from Discrete Trial?
    Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is also based on the principles of applied behavior (ABA). Specific components of DTT include breaking a skill into smaller parts, teaching one subskill at a time, prompt fading and shaping appropriate behaviors until mastered. PRT is a child directed naturalistic treatment; DTT is a more structured therapist directed treatment PRT uses reinforcement directly related to the task; DTT uses reinforcement not necessarily related to the task.
  • Is PRT appropriate for all children with autism?
    Research is currently being conducted which assesses ideal child characteristics for PRT. Pilot data suggests that there are some children that are better candidates for PRT than others. However, it seems that most children can benefit from PRT as one component of a comprehensive treatment plan.
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