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    Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) is a popular intervention for improving targeted and untargeted communication skills for learners with autism. We systematically reviewed communication outcomes reported in experimental research to determine linguistic forms and verbal behavior functions associated with PRT. We found most researchers aggregated results or did not report sufficient detail to determine linguistic forms and/or verbal behavior functions. Generalization of communication skills to untargeted people, settings, materials, and/or activities was evident. However, only one study clearly indicated untargeted linguistic forms emerged following PRT, and no researchers described results that indicated improved generalized and collateral verbal behavior functions. We suggest PRT researchers more clearly define and report primary, generalized, and collateral communication-specific outcomes in order to advance research and practice.


    Heather J Forbes, Jason C Travers, Jenee Vickers Johnson. A Systematic Review of Linguistic and Verbal Behavior Outcomes of Pivotal Response Treatment. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2020 Mar;50(3):766-778

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    PMID: 31768719

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