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Pivotal Response Therapy

Pivotal response therapy (PRT) is a treatment approach for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). PRT involves focus on “pivotal” behaviors, which when targeted are hypothesized to result in broad gains across multiple areas of development. For instance, the primary pivotal area is considered to be motivation; if teaching is done in such a way that the child’s motivation to interact is enhanced in the process, collateral improvements in engagement, positive affect, eye contact, and joint attention may follow. PRT is considered an empirically supported treatment for ASD. This entry provides an overview of the theoretical background of PRT, the identified pivotal areas, and other core components of the treatment delivery model; the entry then briefly outlines existing research support for the approach.

Theoretical Background

PRT ...

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