By: Michael B. Ruef, Nicolette Nefdt, Daniel Openden, Sharon Elmensdorp, Kathleen C. Harris , and Suzanne Robinson
With the large number of students with autism entering the educational system, the need for empirically supported treatment (EST) in the classroom and special education teachers with training in autism and ESTs is necessary now more than ever. This paper describes a collaborative model between 2 universities aimed at providing teacher-candidate graduate students training and community-based practice in an EST, pivotal response treatment (PRT). Three components of the model are described: (1) the community-based service delivery system, (2) the Masters/special education credential program and (3) training in PRT. Additionally, issues around student and family participation are discussed along with possible solutions and future directions. Finally, model benefits are described with regard to graduate students, children with autism, families and the community.