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Pivotal Response


"Pivotal Response" commonly refers to the principles described in the manual entitled How to Teach Pivotal Behaviors to Children With Autism: A Training Manual published in 1989 by Robert L. Koegel and Associates of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

We find it one of the most effective manuals we have ever read, and unlike most others, we refer to it regularly and repeatedly.

One thing that makes it so useful, is that it teaches by illustrating specific examples of interactions with your learner. Instead of just telling you a concept, it demonstrates its application. Another thing that makes it so useful, is that it presents what we feel is a very healthy, child-focused approach, that incorporates child choice and natural environment teaching. It teaches us how to keep the child's self-respect intact while promoting learning.

Our Favorite Pivotal Concepts

Here are a few points that come from the Pivotal Response literature that we find really powerful. We have taken the opportunity to describe them here--with our own interpretation, of course. Please refer to the original training manual and information on our Pivotal Response Links to read and interpret for yourself and your learner. You may order a printed copy of the manual directly from the UCSB for $ 7.00 USD at the first of the following links. Other helpful manuals are also available on their site.