Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Q & A Excerpt with Dr. Robert Koegel

Q: How was the pivotal response treatment developed and how long have you been researching it?

A: For over 3 decades now. We began researching the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) in the 1970s, and in 1987 we published an article on the Natural Language Paradigm. The NLP became synonymous with motivation and motivation is pivotal in teaching children with autism to respond to multiple questions.

A lot of people think this method is just about the use of motivation, but it also incorporates self-management and child initiations. 1988 was the first time the word pivotal was used to describe this method. It was referred to previously as the NLP. It is considered a behavior intervention with similarities to the Lovaas method/ABA.

Q: Why would you say PRT is more effective than other therapies?

A: First and foremost, children think of it as fun and learn skills by doing what they enjoy. They think of PRT as play rather than work and look forward to therapy. Children often detest "drill practices" used in other forms of autism therapy leading to therapy resistance, frustration, and tantrum throwing. This causes parents a great deal of stress.

PRT is different.

Parents love it because their children do and this leads to a decrease in their stress level. PRT is effective in all of the child’s environments and versatile enough to use at home, in clinical settings, in an inclusive classroom, and in the community, and parents can easily start folding PRT strategies into the child's established routine right away.

As a result of all of these variables, families will start seeing positive results with PRT in a very short amount of time.

Q: How does PRT decrease stress for parents?

A: They do not have to worry about their child throwing tantrums and therefore they don't have to dread taking their child to therapy sessions. Children often hate having to perform drill practices involved with other autism treatments, they feel like they are being forced to do something they don't enjoy and they react to this by causing a scene to get out of treatment. The child will throw tantrums and resist therapy.

In contrast, children enjoy PRT and look forward to therapy, no tantrums. Parents love PRT because their children do, they have less to worry about, and this leads to a decrease in their stress level.

Read the rest of the Q & A here:

By Robert L. Koegel, Ph.D., & Lynn Kern Koegel, Ph.D., with invited contributors
Published by Brookes Publishing

Q & A excerpt reprinted with permission from Brookes Publishing.

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