Thursday, October 27, 2011

Positively Autism October 2011 Newsletter

We're wrapping up our series on PRT this month! Here are all of our October 2011 articles and resources. Be sure to check out the preview of our new ABA tutorial and complete the survey. Thanks!

PRT Research Summary -

Free Download - PRT Techniques Chart:

PRT Video Interview:

Q & A Excerpt with Dr. Robert Koegel:

Book Review: Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism:

PRT Links:

Other Books by PRT Authors:

New Free Download: Social Story Praising Accomplishments:

ABA Tutorial Preview:

October 2011 Positive Autism News:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ABA Tutorial Sneak Peak!

Positively Autism excited to announce that we are launching a free online ABA tutorial. This tutorial is intended to give parents, teachers, and others an introduction to Applied Behavior Anlysis (ABA) and its use with individuals with autism.

The tutorial is currently in development, and approximately half of the modules have been created. Positively Autism would like your feedback about the tutorial. A suvey and quiz about the tutorial can be found here: . Please save this document to your computer and complete it after you've looked through the tutorial.

Each survey e-mailed to will be entered in a drawing to win a $25 gift card! To enter, surveys must have all questions completed and be e-mailed by Thursday, November 17th at 11:59 PM central time (United States).

After you complete the modules that are available, if you could complete both parts of the survey above, it would help to improve the tutorial for its final version.

Here is the link to the tutorial:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 2011 Positive Autism News

Autistic students named homecoming royalty
October 1, 2011

New Program Helps Students with Autism Succeed in College Classes
Vinton Today
October 17, 2011

Autistic Boy Scout earns 132 merit badges
Deseret News
October 17, 2011

Did you know that will donate a percentage of any purchase to Positively Autism? Each time you order something from, please do it through one of our links, and we will receive a donation. Thank you!

Highland Park Company Employs Adults With Autism
Highland Park Patch
October 20, 2011

Local church reaches out to families affected by autism
Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group
October 21, 2011

TradeWinds Certified 'Autism Friendly'
Pinellas Beaches, FL Patch
October 21, 2011

Local Autistic boy sings his way across the country to motivate others
News Net 5
October 22, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Free Download - Social Story Praising Accomplishments

Carol Gray, the creator of Social Stories, recommends that some Social Stories are written simply to recognize the accomplishments or positive characteristics of a child. The above is an example I wrote for my son. I've removed some of the pictures of him for confidentiality purposes.

PowerPoint Version:
PDF Version:

View more of Positively Autism's Social Story and Social Skill resources here: recommends...
The New Social Story Book, Revised and Expanded 10th Anniversary Edition: Over 150 Social Stories that Teach Everyday Social Skills to Children with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome, and their Peers
The New Social Story Book, Revised and Expanded 10th Anniversary Edition: Over 150 Social Stories that Teach Everyday Social Skills to Children with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome, and their Peers

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PRT Links

UCSB Koegel Autism Center:

Pivotal Response Training Overview from Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism:

PRT Training Manuals:

Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism @ Brookes Publishing:

Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism @

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism

Pivotal Response Treatment for Autism: Communication, Social, & Academic Development
According to Brookes Publishing, "Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism is the book by Robert L. Koegel and Lynn Kern Koegel that explains PRT, which advances the widely used applied behavior analysis approach to treating autism by using natural learning. And the results have been remarkable."

I love that PRT is a naturalistic intervention, and can be incorporated into a child's normal daily routines. This book is one of the few guides available about PRT, and is a helpful resource for parents and professionals seeking more information about the approach. My opinion of the pros and cons of the book are described below.

  • Comprehensive. The book includes information about PRT, cultural diversity and PRT, how to use it in classrooms, homes, intervention programs, and playdates.
  • Organized. Chapters are each focused on a specific topic, allowing you to find information specific to your situation quickly and easily.
  • Helpful. The book includes examples of data sheets and forms.
  • Inclusive. It includes information on using PRT strategies with students across the autism spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Professional and reputable. The authors of this book are respected professionals in the field.
  • Pro/Con: Very detailed. This is a plus because there is a great deal of information. It may also be considered a con because it may be difficult for parents and teachers to figure out how to organize all of the information into a plan or strategies to put into place for their children or students.
  • A little bit more technical and theoretical than practical, which again may not be a drawback if this is the type of book you are looking for. However, it should be noted that the book is written using very technical language, and it may be better suited for parents and professionals who have a background in applied behavior analysis (ABA), rather than as an introductory book on the topic.
  • I would like more examples of how PRT can be used/applied.
PRT strategies have a place in the vast majority of, if not all, all autism intervention plans. The focus on pivotal areas, natural environments, and incorporating the child’s interests are strategies that I use whenever possible. "Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism " is a helpful and detailed resource for learning PRT strategies. I wouldn't start or continue an ABA-based intervention program without these effective strategies.

Pivotal Response Treatment for Autism: Communication, Social, & Academic Development

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.

Monday, October 10, 2011

PRT Video Interview

An interview with Jessica Bradshaw, an Autism Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Grantee at the University of California, Santa Barbara. recommends...
Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a
Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a Life

Friday, October 7, 2011

Free Download: PRT Techniques Chart

A step-by-step chart illustrating the motivational techniques of PRT. From Brookes Publishing.

Don't forget to enter our contest to win a copy of the PRT book! "Like" PositivelyAutism's Facebook page, and post a message on our page that you'd like to enter the PRT book contest, and you're entered! See specific contest info here:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PRT Research Summary

A summary of research on PRT from the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.

Description: Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) was previously referred to as the Natural Language Paradigm and is viewed by many as an application of incidental teaching procedures (see earlier entry). PRT aims to increase a child’s motivation to learn, monitoring of his/her own behavior, and initiations of communication with others. These changes are described as pivotal because they are viewed as helping the child learn a wide range of other skills. For example, if a child is motivated to get access to colorful toys, he or she may quickly learn color names in order to use them when requesting the toys.

Research Summary: Studies have indicated that PRT may improve academic performance, increase language and play skills, and reduce disruptive behavior in individuals with autism.

Recommendations: PRT may be a useful intervention for teaching some specific language skills and reducing some non-productive behavior for individuals with autism. Although there is much research in the use of incidental teaching procedures for children with autism (see entry on “incidental teaching”), additional experimental research is needed specifically for the use of pivotal response training teasing out the treatment components that its proponents believe are unique to PRT.

Selected References:
Systematic reviews of scientific studies:
  • Delprato, D.J. (2001). Comparisons of discrete-trial and normalized behavioral intervention for young children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 315-325.
  • Koegel, R.L., & Koegel, L.K. (2006). Pivotal response treatments for autism: Communication, social, & academic development. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes Publishing.
  • Terpstra, J.E., Higgins, K., & Pierce, T. (2002). Can I play? Classroom-based interventions for teaching play skills to children with autism.  Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 17, 119-126.

This article's original source is: . Reprinted with Permission.

For research summaries on other autism interventions (including incidental teaching mentioned in the article), please visit:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Fundraiser and Resources

If you are planning on ordering a Halloween costume, candy, or items for a Halloween or Fall Festival, use the link below, and will donate a percentage of your purchase to PositivelyAutism! I'm not an expert in which foods are GFCF, but it looks like Amazon has some of those if you search for them. Thank you and have a wonderful Fall season!

Keep checking the Daily Autism Freebie for Halloween social stories and resources over the next few weeks.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 2011: PRT Continued

This month, we will continue to explore Pivotal Response treatments for Autism. We'll also start featuring some Halloween social stories and resources on the Daily Autism Freebie. Make sure you're on our Facebook page to see the freebie every weekday! And, while you're there, make sure you find the post about entering our PRT book contest.

Pivotal Response Treatment for Autism: Communication, Social, & Academic Development