Brief Report: A Pilot Online Pivotal Response Treatment Training Program for Parents of Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Despite advances in evidence-based treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), disparities in service access remain a serious concern. Current treatment models may not be feasible for families who live in remote geographical regions or have limited resources. To address this, studies have begun to explore parent-implemented interventions via an online format. The current study examined a new online course designed to help parents implement Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) for their toddler with ASD. Parents submitted videos of parent–child interactions which were coded for fidelity of implementation (FOI) and social communicative behaviors. The data indicate that PRT fidelity and child behaviors significantly improved following course participation. This suggests that an online intervention may be a feasible approach to disseminating PRT strategies.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Parent-implemented intervention Pivotal response treatment Online training Telehealth
The authors would like to acknowledge all of the families who participated in this research, along with all of the research assistants that made this project possible.
EM and TV jointly developed the online PRT training program. AB served as a lead research assistant on this project and assisted with data input, organization, and analysis. All authors contributed to the manuscript drafting and revision process.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Bearss, K., Burrell, T. L., Challa, S. A., Postorino, V., Gillespie, S. E., Crooks, C., et al. (2017). Feasibility of parent training via telehealth for children with autism spectrum disorder and disruptive behavior: A demonstration pilot. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3363-2.Google Scholar
- Constantino, J. N., & Gruber, C. P. (2012). Social responsiveness scale-second edition (SRS-2). Torrance, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. (2014). IACC strategic plan for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research- 2013 Update. Retrieved from http://iacc.hhs.gov/strategic-plan/2013/index.shtml
- Johnson, E., & Hastings, R. P. (2002). Facilitating factors and barriers to the implementation of intensive home-based behavioural intervention for young children with autism. Child, 28(2), 123–129.Google Scholar
- Koegel, R., & Koegel, L. (2012). The PRT pocket guide: Pivotal response treatment for autism spectrum disorders. Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co.Google Scholar
- Lindgren, S., Wacker, D., Suess, A., et al. (2016). Telehealth and autism: Treating challenging behavior at lower cost. Pediatrics, 137(S2), S169–S175.Google Scholar
- Liptak, G. S., Benzoni, L. B., Mruzek, D. W., Nolan, K., Thingvoll, M. A., et al. (2008). Disparities in diagnosis and access to health services for children with autism: Data from the National Survey of Children’s Health. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 29(3), 152–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mello, M. P., Goldman, S. E., Urbano, R. C., & Hodapp, R. M. (2016). Services for children with autism spectrum disorder: Comparing rural and non-rural communities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 51(4), 355–365.Google Scholar
- Wacker, D. P., Lee, J. F., Padilla Dalmau, Y. C., Kopelman, T. G., Lindgren, S. D., Kuhle, J., et al. (2012). Conducting functional communication training via telehealth to reduce the problem behavior of young children with autism. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 25, 35–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- West, E., Travers, J., Kemper, T. D., Liberty, L. M., Cote, D. L., McCollow, M. M., et al. (2016). Racial and ethnic diversity of participants in research supporting evidence-based practices for learners with autism spectrum disorder. The Journal of Special Education, 50(3), 151–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar