Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 91–102 | Cite as

Pivotal Response Treatment for Infants At-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Study

  • Amanda Mossman Steiner
  • Grace W. Gengoux
  • Ami Klin
  • Katarzyna Chawarska
Original Paper


Presently there is limited research to suggest efficacious interventions for infants at-risk for autism. Pivotal response treatment (PRT) has empirical support for use with preschool children with autism, but there are no reports in the literature utilizing this approach with infants. In the current study, a developmental adaptation of PRT was piloted via a brief parent training model with three infants at-risk for autism. Utilizing a multiple baseline design, the data suggest that the introduction of PRT resulted in increases in the infants’ frequency of functional communication and parents’ fidelity of implementation of PRT procedures. Results provide preliminary support for the feasibility and utility of PRT for very young children at-risk for autism.


Early intervention Pivotal response treatment Parent education Infant siblings 



The project was supported by Award Number R01 MH087554 from the National Institute of Mental Health (PI: K. Chawarska) and P01 HD03008, Project 1 (PI: K. Chawarska) from the National Institute of Child Health and Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health and Development, or the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda Mossman Steiner
    • 1
  • Grace W. Gengoux
    • 2
  • Ami Klin
    • 3
  • Katarzyna Chawarska
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale Child Study CenterNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Stanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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