What Is the Difference Between ABA Therapy And PRT Therapy?


Asked by kochooloo

What Is the Difference Between ABA Therapy And PRT Therapy?


Hi there!

These are both teaching methods used primarily with children on the autism spectrum.

ABA stands for applied behavioral analysis and was created by a Dr. Lovaas many years ago. This can be considered the old school way of teaching children with autism but it still remains very popular today. Basically it is a method where tasks are broken down into do-able steps and the child's independence and accuracy at doing those steps are recorded. ABA also uses rewards as reinforcement for correct responses.

ABA training is adult led and can be quite intense with teaching taking place 20-40 hours a week for the child. It can also be expensive to find an ABA therapist. Some parents opt to be trained in ABA so that they can do it at home. Proponents of ABA say that it is the only method which has the most scientific proof that it is effective. Critics say that it produces robotic and programmed responses from the child.

PRT stands for Pivitol Response Training. PRT, in my opinion, is a hybrid between ABA and Dr. Greenspan's floortime therapy(a child led play therapy). The whole premise behind PRT is that there are "pivotal" behaviors which influence other behaviors...creating a positive domino effect. These pivotal behaviors can include the child's motivation and initiation to communiicate with others. Although PRT uses some of the basic principles and techniques of ABA, PRT is conducted in the natural environment and is child led. Some people say it is more of a lifestyle because it becomes a way of interacting with the child in normal day to day routines.

Here is the official site to learn about PRT.

And here is a site to explain in depth about ABA.

It is my opinion that an eclectic method...using the best of each of the therapies is the most effective...a program uniquely tailored to the child and his or her needs.

Hope this helps some! Thank you for your question.

You should know: The answer above provides general health information that is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment recommendations from a qualified healthcare professional.