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One Therapy Bests Others at Motivating Kids with Autism to Speak, Study Finds

August 16, 2019

One Therapy Bests Others at Motivating Kids with Autism to Speak, Study Finds

Pivotal response treatment involving parents works better than other existing therapies at motivating children with autism and significant speech delays to talk, according to the results of a large study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Because children with autism are less socially motivated than typically developing children, parents' instincts about how to engage them often don't succeed, said Grace Gengoux, PhD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. PRT gives parents a way to breach this barrier. "We were teaching parents how to set up situations where their child would be motivated to communicate," Gengoux said. "The results of our study are exciting because we found that children in the PRT group improved not just in their communication skills, but also in their broader social abilities." Read More