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Autism Spectrum Disorder: Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) Workshops

Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is now offering intensive workshops for parents and professionals to learn and practice Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) is an established intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) derived from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and based on naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI) principles. PRT targets pivotal areas of a child’s development, including motivation, social initiations, responding to multiple cues, and self-management, thereby producing more widespread and generalized progress. PRT focuses on embedding learning opportunities throughout daily routines for fun and effective learning.


Senior Research Scientist, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Child Development


Dr. Robert Koegel is a Senior Research Scientist specializing in autism at Stanford University School of Medicine. He has trained many health care and special education leaders in the United States and abroad. He has published over 250 articles and books relating to the treatment and understanding of autism, and he is the founding editor of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. Models of his procedures are used in public schools and in parent education programs throughout the world. His research is focused on language intervention, family support, and school integration. Robert and Lynn Koegel are the developers of Pivotal Response Treatment an empirically supported treatment for autism. They are the recipients of the first annual Children’s Television Workshop Sesame Street Award for “Brightening the Lives of Children," the first annual Autism Speaks award for “Science and Research,” and the International ABA award for “enduring programmatic contributions in behavior analysis.” The Koegels are current and past recipients of many federal, state, and private foundation grants and gifts for developing interventions and helping families with autism.
Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel has been active in the development of programs to improve communication in children with autism, including the development of first words, grammatical structures, pragmatics, and social conversation. In addition to her published books and articles in the area of communication and language development, she has developed and published procedures and field manuals in the area of self-management and functional analysis that are used in school districts and by parents throughout the United States, as well as translated in other major languages. Dr. Lynn Koegel is the author of Overcoming Autism and Growing Up on the Spectrum with parent Claire LaZebnik, published by Viking/Penguin and available in most bookstores. Lynn Koegel and her husband, Robert, are the developers of Pivotal Response Treatment which focuses on motivation. The Koegels have been the recipients of many awards, including the first annual Children’s Television Workshop Sesame Street Award for “Brightening the Lives of Children”, the first annual Autism Speaks award for “Science and Research” and the International ABA award for “enduring programmatic contributions in behavior analysis.” In addition, Dr. Lynn Koegel appeared on ABC’s hit show “Supernanny” working with a child with autism. Their work has also been showcased on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. The Koegels are the recipients of many state, federal, and private foundation gifts and grants for developing interventions and helping families with autism spectrum disorder.
Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


Grace Gengoux, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is a Clinical Associate Professor, Director of the Autism Intervention Clinic, and the Well-being Director within Stanford University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Along with colleagues at Stanford, Dr. Gengoux has written a new book focused on professional well-being and practical strategies to promote resilience for providers of mental health care. Dr. Gengoux is also a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in training parents to promote the healthy development of social skills in their children and manage challenging behavior using positive behavioral approaches. Dr. Gengoux has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on treatments for autism. She has specialized training in Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), having completed her doctoral studies under the mentorship of Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel. Dr. Gengoux oversees the PRT group parent training program at Stanford, supervises postdoctoral fellows providing PRT clinical treatment, and has completed multiple clinical trials evaluating the effects of PRT on the social-communication competence of young children with autism. Dr. Gengoux serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions and serves on the Board of Directors for AbilityPath, one of the largest non-profits serving individuals with developmental disabilities in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Dr. Gengoux received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara and completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center, before joining the Stanford University School of Medicine clinical faculty in 2010.
Maria Estefanía Millán, M.A.


Maria Estefanía Millán, M.A., has been a Research Associate in the Autism and Developmental Disorders Research Program (ADDRP) since 2013. She was born and educated in Argentina, earned her Undergraduate and Masters degree in Clinical Psychology at the Universidad Católica Argentina. She worked as a clinician in Argentina for several years providing social skills treatment to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and helping families support their children at home and at school with their social skills challenges. In the ADDRP Lab, Estefanía has coordinated several studies researching the effectiveness of PRT to improve language and social skills. She has also worked as a lead therapist providing both direct PRT treatment and parent training for PRT research projects. She is highly dedicated to finding effective treatments, and passionate about helping children with ASD and their families.

Christina Ardel, MA, BCBA


Christina Ardel, MA, BCBA, is a Behavior Analyst who provides naturalistic behavioral treatment to children and families within the Autism Intervention Clinic at Stanford. Her role involves supporting children with ASD and other developmental disabilities in clinic-based treatment, as well as providing group-based and individual parent training. She has extensive experience delivering Pivotal Response Treatment across a range of settings and as part of several clinical research programs. Christina also helped launch the Early Support Program for Autism and serves as the program’s lead Clinical Care Coordinator. In this role she assists families in finding community resources and navigating the available service systems. Christina obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Stanford University.