Autism Treatment the Pivotal Skills Trainer
Award last edited on: 5/6/19

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code

Principal Investigator
Robert L Stromer

Company Information

Accelerations Educational Software

1225 Laurel Street Suite 131
Columbia, SC 29201
   (803) 233-0541

Research Institution

University of Massachusetts - Worcester

Phase I

Contract Number: 1R41HD047971-01
Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
This STTR (Phase 1) project begins the translation of untapped scientific findings into an improved software tool for teaching children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. The project evaluates a package to train teachers to use software called the Pivotal Skills Trainer and examines whether doing so improves preschoolers' functional communication skills both on- and off-computer. A major feature of the children's computer lessons is that they are linked to the best of today's evidence-based curricula and intervention practices. The children's lessons are unique because (a) they maximize motivation for learning by using high-interest videos as rewards and instructional cues, access to which may be self-determined; (b) they enhance attention to complex instructional cues by structuring interactive involvement with classes and components of cues and by encouraging fluent category learning; and (c) they foster independence and spontaneity by teaching self-initiated socialization routines for engaging others about computer lessons learned. The Specific Aims of the project seek a compelling initial demonstration of the effectiveness, efficiency, and desirability of the software product and its user training package. Aim 1 is to evaluate the teachers' training and their satisfaction in using the Pivotal Skills Trainer (with pretest-posttest designs and consumer satisfaction surveys). Aim 2 is to verify that teacher's use of the Pivotal Skills Trainer improves children's skill sets (with multiple baseline and alternating treatments designs). Aim 3 examines the commercial potential of the Pivotal Skills Trainer (with independent consultations and critiques). In Phase II, the evaluation of a refined and expanded product and training package will include the schools, clinics, and homes that currently use the company's principal software title.

Thesaurus Terms:
autism, computer assisted instruction, computer program /software, educational resource design /development, functional ability, remedial /special education, teacher, training aid behavior therapy, education evaluation /planning, social psychology, teaching clinical research

Phase II

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
Phase II year
Phase II Amount