The ROOTS Program

Building Relationships from the Ground Up!

ROOTS is an individual therapy program designed to target the empirically supported pivotal response areas of motivation, initiations, and self-management outlined in pivotal response treatment (PRT) within the context of dynamic social relationships. Certified PRT treatment providers utilize engaging and desirable activities to target the development of social motivation, interpersonal initiation skills, and self-monitoring abilities in the context of interacting with social partner in order to provide generalization and supported social learning. These pivotal areas are important because a significant amount of identified studies have shown that improvement in these specified areas actually lead to improvement in a variety of other social skills and relational development without having to target them directly!

Within the ROOTS program, each child is supported by a one-on-one clinician, who creates and assesses individual maintenance skills (e.g., skills within a pivotal area that are easy and can be done by the child on a consistent and regular basis) and acquisition goals (e.g., skills within a pivotal area that the child has yet to learn or display on a consistent basis) for each session. The session is then led by the children with the clinicians supporting them in their interactions with each other while creating specific opportunities for each child to develop their identified acquisition skills in a motivating social context at key points in the session that are naturally appropriate. The primary goal is to create a motivating environment for a child that offers supportive guidance and opportunities for skill growth specific to the child in the context of a natural relationship with their peers. This creates the desire to learn to share attention, engage, and relate on a more consistent basis, which is a more effective method for generalizing skills outside of treatment sessions. The foundation of ROOTS program is grounded in well-replicated findings that when a child uses naturally contingent skills within the context of a motivating and engaging environment they use those newly developed abilities for in a wide variety of settings that continues to stay with them.

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy regarding the ROOTS program is founded on forming a supportive relationship between peers. Research based practices such as principles of Pivotal Response Treatment are some of the techniques we use to target each child’s individual needs. We believe that the building blocks to developing social abilities are founded in the continual development of communication, problem solving, and understanding social interactions. Therefore, within child/group led activities, treatment providers continually build engagement and shared attention between peers which leads to healthy, lasting relationships.

For more information on the interventions used in the ROOTS program contact us at or call us at 425-657-0620