Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Manon de Korte (Donders series 538)

8 April 2022

Promotors: Prof. dr. Wouter G. Staal, Prof. dr. Jan K. Buitelaar
Co-promotor: Dr. M. van Dongen-Boomsma

Effects of Pivotal Response Treatment for children with autism

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show difficulties in social communication and interaction. Effective intervention approaches are needed to improve the development of the child and family functioning. In Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) the focus is on teaching core skills in social communication. The findings of this thesis shows that PRT is effective in improving social-communication skills of children aged 2-15 years old with ASD. Furthermore, PRT results in collateral gains in child’s functioning and family well-being. The use of a robot during the sessions may enhance the efficacy of PRT. Moreover, the combination of parent group sessions and individual parent-child training is considered as effective by parents and the involvement of school and other child care providers may improve the generalization of skills in daily life. Altogether, PRT can be considered as an promising intervention for children with ASD.