A therapy called "pivotal response treatment" (PRT) is becoming highly popular, and is now being revealed to parents as an impressive form of speech therapy. According to Science Daily, pivotal response treatment works better for treating children with autism and speech delays, as seen from the results yielded by the hard work of the researchers of the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Grace Gengoux, PhD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences helped in the study. He said that because children with autism are typically less social than their peers, their parents' natural ideals about engaging their children socially are not usually successful. Gengoux also stated that their program at Stanford aims to teach parents how to set situations up in which their child would want to communicate. That's because the study found that children in the PRT group not only increased communication skills, but better social skills, too.
One mom who can verify this first hand is Heidi Pim of Palo Alto, California. Her son, James was diagnosed with autism and speech delays as a toddler. Pim decided to join to study with then 3-year-old James and was extremely pleased with the results. Pim said that she saw frustration levels decrease in James by the end of her study with serious long-lasting results. Today, James is a cheerful 8-year-old kid who likes to kid around with his twin sister, Jessica and attends school in a mainstream classroom. Pim still continues PRT techniques in everyday conversation to engage James.
"I feel so grateful now to see how many words and phrases he knows," she said. "He's able to speak clearly and socialize as well, to go up to people and ask them questions."
The research study lasted for six months and involved 48 children between the ages of two to five years old with autism and significant speech delays. Parents of the children who participated in the study understood that half of the children would receive PRT from therapists and their parents while the other half would continue with the treatment they had been receiving before. At the end of it all, the PRT treatment seemed to help quite a bit for those who need it most.
What do you think about PRT helping kids with autism and significant speech delays? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!