link to: University of Minnesota

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

MNLEND Public Presentation

Improving Motivation and Decreasing Disruptive Behaviors in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder using Pivotal Response Training


Friday, October 27, 2017
8:30 to 11:45 a.m.


Courtyard Marriott Downtown
1500 Washington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55454
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Two children smiling at the camera

This presentation provides an overview of Pivotal Response Training (PRT) - PRT is a naturalistic intervention model derived from ABA approaches. Rather than target individual behaviors, 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. This presentation will review research-supported motivational strategies that have been shown to significantly increase child engagement in learning opportunities, thus increasing the speed of new skill acquisition and decreasing disruptive behavior. Strategies for motivating children to self-initiate language will also be discussed, as research shows that initiations are critical for more positive long-term outcomes in children with autism. Finally, as many children with ASD show very little interest in academic assignments and exhibit disruptive behavior when assignments are presented, this session will review how these motivational variables can be incorporated into academic tasks to improve performance and interest.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lynn Koegel

Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel has been active in the development of programs to improve communication in children with autism, including the development of first words, grammatical structures, pragmatics, and social conversation. In addition to her published books and articles in the area of communication and language development, she has developed and published procedures and field manuals in the area of self-management and functional analysis that are used in school districts and by parents throughout the United States, as well as translated in other major languages. Dr. Lynn Koegel is the author of Overcoming Autism and Growing Up on the Spectrum with parent Claire LaZebnik, published by Viking/Penguin and available in most bookstores. Lynn Koegel and her husband, Robert, are the developers of Pivotal Response Treatment which focuses on motivation. The Koegels have been the recipients of many awards, including the first annual Children’s Television Workshop Sesame Street Award for “Brightening the Lives of Children”, the first annual Autism Speaks award for “Science and Research” and the International ABA award for “enduring programmatic contributions in behavior analysis.” In addition, Dr. Lynn Koegel appeared on ABC’s hit show “Supernanny” working with a child with autism. Their work has also been showcased on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. The Koegels are the recipients of many state, federal, and private foundation gifts and grants for developing interventions and helping families with autism spectrum disorder.

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