Archived News: In Research and Intervention
December 2014

Pivotal Response Treatment Shows Promising Results

A recent study revealed the positive benefits of pivotal response treatment in young children with autism spectrum disorder. Pivotal response treatment is similar to applied behavior analysis but more specifically targets the social deficits seen in children with autism. The study included 10 preschoolers with autism. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed on the children both at the beginning of the study and after a period of exposure to pivotal response treatment. All children showed substantial movement towards the neural responses seen in typically developing children. Of note is the fact that both the children who exhibited hypoactivation in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and hyperactivation of the pSTS demonstrated movement towards typical neural responses. These promising results suggest that further studies should be performed to consider the benefits of pivotal response treatment in individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

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