Just as the CDC releases figures showing a dramatic increase in the incidence of autism, which now affects 1 in 88 children, Drs. Lynn and Robert Koegel have published The PRT Pocket Guide: Pivotal Response Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders (Brookes 2012). The Koegels run the internationally acclaimed Koegel Autism Center at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School. A great resource for educators, behavior specialists, early interventionists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, and families, this reader-friendly pocket guide is the perfect introduction to PRT, the popular approach that uses natural learning opportunities to modify pivotal areas of behavior.
Of the many treatment programs for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Pivotal Response Treatment® is one of the few that is both comprehensive (as listed by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences) and empirically supported (as recognized by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders and the National Standards Project). Pivotal Response Treatment® is a naturalistic intervention model derived from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) approaches. Rather than target individual behaviors one at a time, PRT® targets pivotal areas of a child’s development, such as motivation, responsivity to multiple cues, self-management, and social initiations. By targeting these critical areas, PRT® results in widespread, collateral improvements in other social, communicative, and behavioral areas that are not specifically targeted.
The PRT Pocket Guide has received tremendous advance praise. “This guide is a must-have,” says Howard Taras, MD, School District Physician Consultant and Professor of Pediatrics, UC San Diego. “It describes an intervention that is not only logical, but proven. Prescribed ways to interact with one’s child requires patience and practice. There is no magic bullet, but PRT offers true help and hope.” Meanwhile Ilene Schwartz, Ph.D., Director, Haring Center for Applied Research and Training in Education, University of Washington, asserts, “This valuable handbook is going to become a go-to book for teachers and parents who want to provide evidence-based interventions for children with autism in natural settings.”
Robert L. Koegel, Ph.D., is internationally known for his work in the area of autism, specializing in language intervention, family support, and school inclusion. Models of his procedures have been used in public schools and in parent education programs throughout California and the United States, as well as other countries. Dr. Robert L. Koegel is Director of the Koegel Autism Center at UC Santa Barbara, where he is also a professor of Clinical Psychology and of Special Education. He has trained many health care and special education leaders in the United States.
Lynn Kern Koegel, Ph.D., is the clinical director of Autism Services at the Koegel Autism Center at UC Santa Barbara. She has been active in the development of programs to improve communication in children with autism, including the development of first words, development of grammatical structures, and pragmatics. In addition to published books and articles in the area of communication and language development, Dr. Koegel has developed and published procedures and field manuals in the area of self-management and functional analysis that are used in school districts throughout the United States and have been translated in most major languages used throughout the world.
Dr. Robert L. Koegel and Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel were joint recipients of the first annual Sunny Days Award, presented by Sesame Street Parents and the Children's Television Workshop for brightening the lives of children.