First Advisor

Jackson, Lewis (Lewis B.)

Second Advisor

Mueller, Tracy G.

Date Created



Providing children with autism with early intensive behavioral interventions has become a research priority. Specifically, early and intensive behavioral intervention of Pivotal Response Training (PRT) has been targeted as an effective natural behavioral intervention. The present study extended the use of PRT to teaching parents to implement this intervention in their home natural settings and was hypothesized to intensify and increase the time access to the intervention; hence, enhance maintenance and generalization of social communication skills for children with autism. A multiple-probe-across-setting design was used in this study to determine if training parents of children with autism to use Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), specifically teaching their children to label and use query responses, enhanced social communication skills and also led to generalization in other settings. The results of this study of three distinct families who participated in this study showed that parents were able to learn, implement, and generalize the Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) intervention. Also, the children of these parents significantly increased their communication responses at home and generalized these communication responses across different settings. Implications of the findings of this study were discussed and further lines of research were suggested. The implications included that social conversation could be enhanced through the implementation of naturalistic behavioral intervention that included motivational variables.

Abstract Format



Autistic children; Autism


164 pageS

Local Identifiers


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Copyright is held by author.