A Parent-Mediated Naturalistic Behavioural Intervention for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
There are several studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of Pivotal Response Training (PRT) as an evidence-based intervention for children with ASD. However, very few researchers have conducted studies on parent’s use of these strategies, specifically in naturally occurring contexts (i.e., home setting). This study was a preliminary attempt to teach parents how to implement the six motivational procedures of PRT during everyday routines. A concurrent multiple baseline design across nine parent-child dyads consisting of baseline, intervention, and post-intervention phases was utilized. Parent-child interactions were conducted in a free play context to code for parent in- structions or comments provided, parental responsiveness, and changes in the children’s social communication behaviours. Results of the study showed improvements in social communication and decreases in challenging behaviour, as a result of the parent-mediated intervention. Additional- ly, the results of the study suggest that in spite of the lack of consistent fidelity at the specified 80% criterion, children with autism still demonstrated social communication, play, and behavioural ben- efits, during interactions with their parents. Parents reported lower levels of stress and were overall satisfied with the intervention. Findings from this study demonstrate the feasibility of PRT parent- mediated interventions based on PRT conducted in natural environments.