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Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT)

Pivotal Response Treatment is an evidence-based child and family-centered intervention that capitalizes on a child’s interests and initiations in everyday environments and within daily routines. Caregivers learn how to use strategies from the field of applied behaviour analysis to support development of the communication, language, play, and social behaviors of same age, typically developing peers. Families may opt for a brief or moderate level of PRT caregiver training to target outcomes that are unique to their needs and priorities. The Brief PRT model would provide caregivers with six hours of training over three consecutive weeks, with two additional follow up sessions; a moderate PRT model would provide parents with 12 weekly sessions of caregiver training, one hour in duration, with two additional follow up sessions.


  • Families of children who are 12 to 48 months at the start of intervention
  • Child has a diagnosis of autism
  • Child is registered in the Ontario Autism Program
  • Families are eligible for one Early Years program per year


  • Brief Model: two 1-hour sessions for three weeks + two follow-up sessions
  • Moderate Model: one 1-hour session per week for 3 months + two follow-up sessions
  • Intensive Model: 1-2 hours per week for 6 months (up to 48 hours)


  • Eligible families will be invited to participate in Caregiver-Mediated Early Years programs by the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services (MCCSS). Families must receive an invitation from MCCSS in order to register for PRT.
  • Invitations will be sent out in waves based on service provider capacity and the number of spaces available
  • Families who receive an invitation letter in the mail will contact Canopy Support Services directly to determine which program is suitable for their family and to ask questions about the program
  • Once invited families have chosen their preferred program, they will register directly with Canopy Support Services.

For additional information about the Caregiver-Mediated Early Years Programs, please contact Central Navigation at 1-888-616-3456 x 200 or by email at