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Language Improvement Following Pivotal Response Treatment For Children With Developmental Disorders

Jessica M. Schwartzman, Kristen Strong, Christina M. Ardel, Rachel K. Schuck, M. Estefania Millan, Jennifer M. Phillips, Antonio Y. Hardan, Grace W. Gengoux

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Abstract Given the high prevalence of communication deficits in developmental disorders, there is need for efficient early interventions. The aim of this pilot study is to examine benefits of pivotal response treatment (PRT) for improving language in young children with developmental disorders without autism spectrum disorder. Parents of 15 children with developmental disorders received weekly PRT parent training for 12 weeks. Standardized parent-rated assessments were administered at baseline and post-treatment to measure changes in language. Structured laboratory observation indicated children demonstrated significantly greater frequency of utterances and improvement on standardized questionnaires measuring expressive language and adaptive communication skills following PRT. Findings suggest that PRT may be efficacious in improving language abilities among children with developmental disorders.