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Following Parent Lead: Outcomes of a Brief, Individualized Pivotal Response Treatment Education Program for Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed with Autism


Families whose child has recently received a diagnosis of autism are a unique population in particular need of support and guidance. These parents often experience feelings of stress, fear, and uncertainty, which can be further complicated by challenges with understanding and navigating services. It may be especially important to consider parent preferences and experiences for the development of effective early intervention programs. Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) are two evidence-based approaches that are frequently used in the treatment of individuals with autism. However, there appears to be a paucity of literature on PBS plans that incorporate PRT education as the foundation of the multicomponent support plan. The current study examined outcomes of brief PRT education in the context of a PBS program that was individualized based on parent-reported needs. The education program was found to have a positive impact on various measures of well-being for parents whose child was newly diagnosed with autism and a positive impact on child social communication for some children. Future directions and limitations are discussed.

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