Trial Search Results

Improving Access to Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) Via Telehealth Parent Training

There is an urgent need for improved access to effective autism treatments. With advances in technology, distance learning models have particular promise for families who cannot access evidence-based parent training locally or may be on long wait-lists for behavioral treatments. Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) is an established treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, a telehealth PRT model has not yet been evaluated in a controlled trial. This study will examine the effects of training parents in PRT via secure video conferencing and investigate 1) whether parents can learn via telehealth to deliver PRT in the home setting (PRT-T) and 2) whether their children will show greater improvement in functional communication skills compared to children in a waitlist control group. Participants will include 40 children age 2 to 5 years with ASD and significant language delay. Eligible children will be randomly assigned to either PRT-T (N=20) or waiting list (N=20). Weekly 60-minute parent training sessions will be delivered for 12 weeks via secure video conferencing software by a PRT-trained study therapist. The effects of PRT-T on parent fidelity of PRT implementation, child communication deficits including frequency of functional verbal utterances, and parent-report of communication skills on standardized questionnaires will be evaluated. This research will provide a foundation for wider dissemination of technology-based solutions to improve access to ASD treatment.

Stanford is currently accepting patients for this trial.

Lead Sponsor:

Stanford University

Stanford Investigator(s):


  • Behavioral: Pivotal Response Treatment




Inclusion Criteria: Participants will include children ages a) 2:0 to 5:11 years, b)
diagnosed with ASD (based on history, review of available medical records including
diagnostic testing, e.g., ADOS) or suspicion of ASD diagnosis and confirmed with Autism
Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R; completed by phone), c) with significant adaptive
communication deficits (i.e., either a Vineland-3 Communication subscale 2SD below average
for 2 and 3 year olds and 3 SD below for 4 and 5 year olds or a Vineland-3 Expressive
V-scale Score 2 SD below average for 2 and 3 year olds, or 3 SD below for 4 and 5 year old,
and at least moderate severity on the CGI-S language subscale), d) able to vocalize with
communicative intent during home video observation, e) stable treatment for at least 2
weeks prior to baseline (e.g., ABA, special education) with no more than 60 minutes per
week 1:1 speech therapy and no anticipated changes during study participation, and f) an
English-speaking parent able to consistently participate in study procedures.

Exclusion Criteria.

a) children who have a primary language other than English, b) parent or child diagnosed
with severe psychiatric disorder or unstable medical problem, c) child participating in >15
hours per week of 1:1 ABA treatment at home, d) unstable medical condition such as severe
seizures, e) Severe behavioral difficulties (e.g., self-injury or aggression that could
present a safety risk to the child or family members during implementation of the
intervention), f) previous adequate trial of pivotal response treatment, or g) living
within 200 miles of Stanford University.

Ages Eligible for Study

2 Years - 5 Years

Genders Eligible for Study


Now accepting new patients

Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Grace W Gengoux, PhD
Not Recruiting