Pivotal Response Training (PRT) is a naturalistic and one of the best studied and validated behavioral interventions derived from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). It is play based and child initiated. PRT has been shown to be effective in increasing communication, play, imitation, joint attention, and social skills in children with autism.
The basic premise behind Pivotal Response Training is to use the child’s natural environment to create learning situations that result in improved social and communication skills.
PRT Principle goals are to increase communication and social behaviors and to decrease disruptive/self-stimulatory behavior.
Pivotal Response Training targets “pivotal” area of a child’s development. These include motivation, response to multiple cues, self-management and the initiation of social interactions
Each program is tailored to each child and goals change depending upon the child’s needs and progress. Skills are taught in the natural environment, making skills easier to generalize. Motivation strategies are an important part of PRT and “natural” reinforcement is provided. For example, if a child requests a car then the reinforcement would be getting the car instead of a piece of food.
Naturalistic interventions receive more social validity than higher structured interventions.
Natural Environment Teaching (NET)
NET is utilizing principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to teach in the natural environment, “the real world.”
This intervention is child lead and uses activities and materials in the child’s home, outside, day care setting, etc. This helps the child generalize and learn in different environments with different people and stimuli.
Characteristics of NET also include capturing motivation, pairing, errorless learning, and using probe data as opposed to trial by trial data. Capturing the motivation of a child to teach new skills is especially important at the beginning of a program when a therapist/teacher is still developing rapport with a child.
Teaching is embedded in a child’s natural routine.
Positive Behavior Supports
Positive behavioral supports are a behavior management system used to understand what maintains an individual's challenging behavior. People's inappropriate behaviors are difficult to change because they are functional; they serve a purpose for them. These behaviors are supported by reinforcement in the environment. A comprehensive functional behavior