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Pivotal Response Training

At Phoenix Autism Center, we are dedicated to providing cutting-edge and evidence-based therapies to support individuals on the autism spectrum, and one of the key methodologies we employ is Pivotal Response Training (PRT). PRT is a highly effective and widely recognized intervention approach that focuses on pivotal areas of development, aiming to enhance not only specific behaviors but also foundational skills that significantly impact overall functioning.

What is Pivotal Response Training (PRT)?

Think of Pivotal Response Training (PRT) as a special way of helping your child with autism. Instead of just looking at specific behaviors, PRT focuses on important behaviors that can make a big difference in many parts of your child’s life. These behaviors, like better communication and social skills, play a central role in helping your child adapt and do well in different situations.

Pivotal Response Training (PRT) identifies pivotal areas that, when targeted, can have a broad and positive impact on your child’s overall development. These pivotal areas include:


Enhancing the individual’s interest and enthusiasm to participate in various activities, making learning more engaging and enjoyable.


Encouraging the ability to start and carry out activities independently, promoting self-sufficiency and autonomy.


Teaching skills related to self-regulation and self-control, empowering individuals to independently manage their behaviors and emotions.

Responsivity to Multiple Cues:

Helping individuals respond appropriately to different cues in their environment, fostering flexibility in understanding and adapting to various situations.

Improvements in these pivotal areas often lead to more widespread positive outcomes, influencing communication, socialization, and adaptive functioning. PRT, by strategically addressing these pivotal behaviors, creates a ripple effect that improves your child’s overall quality of life.

Let’s Look at the Key Principles of PRT

Let’s take a closer look at the core principles that underpin Pivotal Response Training (PRT). These principles, including enhancing motivation, promoting self-initiation, teaching self-management skills, and improving responsivity to multiple cues, are the building blocks of PRT’s effectiveness. By honing in on these specific areas, PRT aims to create meaningful enhancements in communication, socialization, and overall adaptive functioning, making it a comprehensive and targeted intervention for individuals with autism.

Child-Led Approach:

PRT is characterized by its child-centered approach, emphasizing the importance of incorporating the individual’s interests and preferences into the intervention. This helps to increase motivation and engagement.

Naturalistic Setting:

Unlike traditional ABA interventions, PRT often takes place in natural, everyday settings, promoting generalization of skills to real-life situations.

Focus on Pivotal Behaviors:

PRT targets pivotal areas such as motivation, self-management, initiations, and responding to multiple cues. Improvements in these areas can have a cascading effect on other behaviors and skills.

Responsive Interaction:

The training encourages responsive and contingent interaction between the child and therapist, fostering a dynamic and reciprocal relationship.

How PRT Works at Phoenix Autism Center

PRT involves creating opportunities within natural contexts to encourage the development of targeted skills. By reinforcing positive behaviors, the training enhances motivation, increase social interactions, and improve communication skills. The focus on pivotal behaviors ensures that gains made during therapy have a broad impact on the individual’s overall development.

Why Choose PRT at Phoenix Autism Center

Choosing Pivotal Response Training (PRT) at Phoenix Autism Center (PAC) means opting for a specialized and effective approach tailored to your child’s unique needs. Our commitment to individualized care, involving families in the therapy process, and a team of skilled clinicians dedicated to staying current with the latest research makes Phoenix Autism Center a hub for quality support for your child.

Individualized Approach:

PRT is tailored to the unique strengths, needs, and interests of each individual, recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach is not effective.

Collaboration with Families:

We actively involve families in the therapy process, providing support and strategies that can be implemented in daily life.

Professional Expertise:

Our team of clinicians is highly trained in PRT and continuously seeks to stay abreast of the latest research and best practices.

We are committed to utilizing evidence-based practices like Pivotal Response Training to empower individuals with autism and their families. Contact us today to learn more about how PRT can be a pivotal part of your journey towards growth and independence.