May Institute welcomes international experts Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel for Distinguished Lecture Series


On March 26, 2010, May Institute was delighted to welcome Dr. Robert Koegel and Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, international experts in the field of autism and the developers of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), a treatment approach that focuses on motivation in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

The highlight of the Koegels’ full-day visit was their workshop on PRT, which they presented to a packed house of May Institute clinical staff. The presentation was the most recent in May Institute’s “Distinguished Lecture Series,” a forum created by the Institute to invite internationally renowned clinicians to share their knowledge and expertise. In addition to providing ongoing opportunities for our staff to engage with and learn from some of the top experts in the field, the Distinguished Lecture Series enables May Institute to incorporate cutting edge research into our program environments.

PRT is an exciting, multi-component training approach that incorporates key or “pivotal” behaviors of motivation, such as responsivity to multiple cues, self-initiation, and self-management – in treating the children, adolescents, and adults with autism.

In the National Autism Center’s recently released National Standards Report, PRT is identified as one of 11 effective educational and behavioral treatment approaches. May Institute founded the National Autism Center and took a leadership role in its multi-year National Standards Project. This Project culminated in the National Standards Report – the most comprehensive systematic analysis of the autism treatment literature conducted to date.

Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel have provided invaluable support and guidance to May Institute and the National Autism Center. For the past five years, both of the Koegels served as Expert Panelists for the National Standards Project. Dr. Robert Koegel has also been a long-standing member of May Institute’s Professional Advisory Board, which includes leading authorities in the fields of autism, applied behavior analysis, special education, developmental disabilities, and behavioral health. These experts review May Institute programs and provide guidance on new research and treatment developments and best practices.

May Institute is currently in the process of developing a training plan to add PRT to our arsenal of effective treatment approaches. We look forward to implementing PRT, and to continuing the Institute’s long tradition of providing effective and cutting edge treatment services to individuals on the autism spectrum.