Child choosing a library book

Motivation plays a critical role in the overall success of your child’s formation of lasting skills and behaviors. Speech and ABA therapies, in particular, strive to find what motivates your child most. By integrating these interests, they strive to gain and hold your child’s attention to introduce and increase long-term learning. Pairing ABA therapy practice with Pivotal Response Training, or PRT proves to be a successful way to enhance the introduction and long-term adoption of new skills and behaviors. PRT recognizes and stresses the importance of each child’s motivation. Capitalizing on your child’s interests provides additional motivation, opening the doors to optimal learning opportunities during the use of ABA therapy strategies. Let’s take a look at:

  • What Pivotal Response Treatment Is
  • What Developmental Areas PRT Targets
  • How PRT Provides Motivation
  • A Look at a Typical PRT Session

Understanding Pivotal Response Treatment

Pivotal Response Treatment is a behavioral treatment that pairs successfully with ABA therapy for children with autism. This type of therapy is play-based and child-initiated, holding the belief that changes in a pivotal response can trigger progress throughout all other developmental areas. While early intervention is always most effective, PRT is most successful during the preschool through middle school years, teaching them to self-evaluate, self-regulate, and gain further independence. PRT goals focus on three significant aspects:

  1. The development of your child’s communication and language skills
  2. Decreasing and replacing disruptive behaviors
  3. Increasing your child’s positive social behaviors

A PRT therapist will focus on the pivotal developmental areas, rather than targeting one specific behavior. By concentrating on pivotal aspects, PRT provides improvements across multiple developmental areas, including:

  • Communication
  • Social skills
  • Learning
  • Behavior

During ABA therapy, PRT focus areas include strengthening your child’s:

  • Self-management skills
  • Ability to initiate social interactions
  • Motivation
  • Responses to various cues at a time, rather than focusing on one specific detail

How PRT Provides Motivation

Motivation strategies are a vital part of PRT and emphasize consistent, meaningful reinforcement. When your child makes purposeful attempts to request a specific item, such as a favorite toy, that toy is their reward. Children receive their reward when making a meaningful attempt, despite making perfect attempts to increase motivation.

Child with teddy bear

What to Expect from PRT Sessions

PRT programs provide individual tailoring to meet your child’s ABA therapy goals and needs. Psychologists, speech therapists, and special education teachers are among the professionals with PRT certifications who will work with your child. Sessions typically include six segments, roughly twenty-five hours a week, focusing on:

  • Play
  • Language
  • Social skills

As your child progresses, the focus and structure of their sessions will advance, making parental involvement imperative. As your child continues to practice at home and in all their natural environments, new behaviors will become lasting results.

Here at Blossom Children’s Center, our team of professionals will work closely with your family, providing everything you need. You’ll find education, techniques, and support services to help your child meet their goals and thrive. To learn more about our all-encompassing services for your child and family, we encourage you to visit our site or one of our centers today.

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