Brief Report: Reduced Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors after Pivotal Response Treatment
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Children with ASD show high frequency of restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs); however, higher-order RRBs, such as restricted interests, have remained largely resistant to treatment. This study evaluated change in severity of RRBs following a 16-weeks open trial of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT). Participants included 15 children with ASD ages 4–7 years. RRBs, as measured by the repetitive behavioral scales-revised (RBS-R) and aberrant behaviors checklist, decreased significantly after treatment. These reductions remained significant after controlling for change in social communication skills. PRT shows promise in reducing RRBs; although PRT explicitly addresses pivotal social communication skills, there is a secondary and less direct effect on RRBs.
KeywordsRestricted and repetitive behaviors Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) Behavior therapy Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised (RBS-R)
Funding for this study came from Autism Science Foundation, Simons Foundation, Women’s Health Research at Yale, Deitz Family, Esme Usdan & Family, and Dwek Family. We wish to thank the families of the children included in this study for their time and participation.
PV conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and drafted the manuscript. DY participated in the design of the study and performed the statistical analysis. SA participated in the coordination of the study, helped to draft the manuscript, and delivered the treatment. CP participated in the coordination of the study and delivered the treatment. MB participated in the coordination of the study and delivered the treatment. DS conceived of the study and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This work was approved by Yale University Institutional Review Board (IRB). All participants provided informed consent for participation.
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