Pivotal Response Treatment Professional Training Workshops

UPDATE 1/11/2022: The Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) Two-Day Professional Training Workshop is currently on hiatus due to COVID-19. Please continue to check back for more updates.


UCSB Koegel Autism Center’s Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) Two-Day Professional Training Workshop is designed to equip psychologists, behavior analysts, therapists, parents, educators, paraprofessionals, medical personnel, researchers, and other professionals with the core motivational and behavioral strategies of the PRT autism intervention model.

What is PRT?

PRT is a highly effective, evidence-based autism intervention that targets the core motivational and social-communication vulnerabilities associated with autism spectrum disorders.  It is classified as one of the few research-based naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions (NDBI) and emphasizes natural settings and routines, family involvement, motivational strategies, and behavioral principles. It is play-based and equally engaging to parents, clinicians, and children with ASD.

Learning Objectives:

This training program will focus on the core PRT strategies to promote the social communication skills in young children with ASD who are nonverbal or language-delayed. These strategies include:

Child Choice: How to use child-selected play materials to maximize learning engagement

Task Variation: How to introduce new activities to maintain high levels of interest

Clear Bids: How to get a child’s attention and use easy-to-understand language bids

Rewarding Attempts: How to immediately reward child language efforts

Natural Rewards: How to reward children with the current intervention activity

Balancing Tasks: How to strategically combine previously mastered and new learning tasks

Social Engagement: How to transform existing interests into social activities

Training Program Highlights:

Intensive Training:  Attendees complete 12 hours of intensive, hands on PRT training in two days

Expert Trainers: Lead Trainers Dr. Ty Vernon (Center Director & Faculty Member) and Dr. Anna Krasno (Clinical Director) have over 25 years of combined PRT implementation experience.

Break-Out Sessions: Our advanced PRT clinicians lead small break-out sessions (capped at five attendees each) to ensure that attendees receive an intimate, tailored training experience.

Hands-On Training: Attendees will practice implementing PRT in simulated sessions and with children diagnosed with ASD

Video Review: Attendees and trainers will jointly review and analyze implementation videos

Meals Included: Breakfast, coffee, lunch, and refreshments are provided by UCSB catering

Training Materials: All attendees with receive a PRT implementation manual and a certificate of completion

PRT Training Program Schedule

Each training day consists of engaging instructional seminars with video examples, facilitated hands-on clinical practice sessions with young children diagnosed with ASD, interactive discussions, and review summaries.


8:30    Check-In & Breakfast
9:00    PRT Overview (Development & Behavioral Foundation)
10:00  PRT Motivational Procedures (Antecedent Strategies)
10:30  Morning Break
10:45  PRT Motivational Procedures (Consequence Strategies)
11:15  PRT in the Session (Implementation Tips and Fidelity)
12:00  Lunch Break
1:00    Break-out Session (PRT Clinical Practice: Child)
2:30    Afternoon Break w/ Refreshments
2:45    Break-out Session (Review of Clinical Practice)
4:00    Day One Closing Summary
4:30    End of Session


8:30    Check-In & Breakfast
9:00    PRT Overview (Core Concept Review & Troubleshooting)
9:30    Breakout Session (Review of Clinical Practice)
10:30  Morning Break
10:45  Breakout Session (PRT Clinical Practice: Pairs)
11:15  PRT Advanced Concepts
12:00  Lunch Break
1:00    Break-out Session (PRT Clinical Practice: Child)
2:30    Afternoon Break w/ Refreshments
2:45    Break-out Session (Review of Clinical Practice)
4:00    PRT Training Program Closing Summary
4:30    End of Session

Program Details

Training Fee: The UCSB Koegel Autism Center PRT Two-Day Training Workshop is $400/day, or $800 total for the two-day workshop. This fee includes 12 hours of training in PRT, breakfast, lunch, afternoon refreshments, a PRT implementation manual, and a post-workshop review of two submitted PRT fidelity videos with written feedback.

Location: Our PRT training program is conducted at the University of California Santa Barbara, located next to the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara, California. Santa Barbara is accessible through the local SBA airport or LAX airport. 

Drive-Time: By car, Santa Barbara is about 1.5-3 hours from Los Angeles, 3-5 hours from San Diego, and 4.5-5 hours from the San Francisco Bay Area

Dates: Our PRT Training Workshops are typically offered once a quarter (Spring, Summer, Fall, & Winter).

Want to Register? Click on the workshop dates you would like:

Due to the current regulations with COVID-19, our in-person trainings have been cancelled. Please check back soon for details on future trainings.


Please email us at autism@ucsb.edu, or call us at 805.893.2049 for more information

More Info on PRT

PRT is a highly acclaimed research-based intervention for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). PRT is a naturalistic intervention model derived from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

PRT was created by Dr. Robert Koegel, Dr. Lynn Koegel, Dr. Laura Schreibman, and their research teams. Over the past 30 years, these researchers, their graduate students, and their colleagues have published over 200 research articles in peer-reviewed journals that support the effectiveness of PRT, and have written over 30 books and manuals. PRT is listed by the National Research Council as one of the ten model programs for autism, and is one of four scientifically-based practices for autism intervention in the U.S. (Simpson, 2005).

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 Areas

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 underlying motivational strategies of PRT are incorporated throughout intervention as often as possible. These include child choice, task variation, interspersing maintenance tasks, rewarding attempts, and the use of direct and natural reinforcers. The child plays a crucial role in determining the activities and objects that will be used in the PRT exchange. Intentful attempts at the target behavior are rewarded with a natural reinforcer (e.g, if a child attempts a request for a stuffed animal, the child receives the animal, not a piece of candy or other unrelated reinforcer). PRT is used to teach language, decrease disruptive/self-stimulatory behaviors, and increase social, communication, and academic skills.

Other Names

In the past, Pivotal Response Treatment has been referred to as Pivotal Response Training, Pivotal Response Teaching, Pivotal Response Therapy, Pivotal Response Intervention, and the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP). These terms all indicate the same treatment delivery system, most commonly known as Pivotal Response Treatment.