IN S.T.E.P.P.S. is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art services to children and their families. Our evidence-based teaching approaches are tailored to each program. We emphasize naturalistic teaching strategies, such as PRT. We believe each child and family is unique. Programs must fit a family’s routines and lifestyle to result in change that can be maintained.

IN S.T.E.P.P.S. provides services in the natural environment and includes parents, siblings, and any key care providers. We focus on functional skills, and strongly believe in the power of positive reinforcement and positive behavior support strategies. At IN S.T.E.P.P.S. our goal is to make learning fun for all involved, and to (re)create a harmonious family atmosphere.

IN S.T.E.P.P.S. is committed to providing an equal opportunity and professional work environment with ongoing opportunities for learning and growth. We believe that services can only be state-of-the-art when staff are an integral part of the decision making process, when staff feel heard and appreciated, and when people work together every step of the way. IN S.T.E.P.P.S. uses a team approach and the collaborative process to continually improve programs and services for the children and families we serve.

Our services include:

  • Individualized behavior therapy to students with ASD, other developmental disabilities and delays, and other diagnoses such as ADHD or Anxiety Disorders
  • Social skills teaching in the natural environment
  • Social skill groups
  • School support
  • Parent support and education
  • Assessments and evaluations
  • Workshops for parents
  • Lego Summer Camp and Support in Community Summer Camps
  • On site training and coaching in Pivotal Response Treatment for professionals


Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) was developed by Robert L. Koegel, and Lynn Kern Koegel, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Important contributions were also made by Laura Schreibman and Aubyn Stahmer at the University of California, San Diego. Based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, PRT has grown into an internationally recognized intervention model for children with ASD and their families. PRT was listed as one of the ten model programs for Autism by the National Research Council in 2001, and is one of four scientifically based practices for Autism (Simpson, 2005). More than 200 scholarly articles have been published in peer- reviewed journals and current research continues to refine the model.

PRT is a naturalistic teaching method, that focuses on Pivotal Behaviors. Change in these pivotal behaviors results in widespread, collateral gains in communication, social, and other behavior domains. Pivotal behaviors include motivation, responsitivity to multiple cues, self management, and initiations. PRT teaching opportunities are embedded during normal everyday routines and across all settings. Parents and other family or community members are an integral part of the service model, thus providing ongoing intervention to the child with ASD.

A number of books and manuals have been published about PRT that you may find helpful. For a full list and ordering information please visit the Autism Research and Training Center at UCSB by following website: www.education.ucsb.edu/autism/


Technically speaking, ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis is the science in which behavior principles are applied systematically to improve socially significant behavior. ABA analyzes variables contributing to behavior change and scientifically measures change in behavior as a result of change in these variables. What does that mean? ABA is about changing behavior, but it is also about learning. ABA uses reinforcement to teach new skills and expand repertoires, and as a result of these new skills, challenging behaviors become ineffective and efficient. Although the science of ABA involves the use of specific learning principles, how these principles are applied can vary dramatically from highly structured procedures such as Discrete Trial Teaching to naturalistic approaches such as PRT. An essential part of ABA involves data collection on the behaviors of interest. Only through ongoing data collection and analysis can meaningful progress be obtained and learning be maximized in any individual.

ABA is most known for its application with children with autism and other developmental disabilities. However, ABA is applied across a wide range of areas including: education, gerontology, health and exercise, industrial safety, language acquisition, littering, medical procedures, parenting, seatbelt use, severe mental disorders, sports, AIDS prevention, conservation of natural resources, zoo management and care of animals.