Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is an effective ABA teaching method. DTT becomes more effective when it is integrated with more naturalistic teaching strategies. When DTT is implemented at Morning Star ABA Therapy the session activities will vary greatly and DTT may only fill one or two 15 minute segments while the rest of the session will use more naturalistic teaching methods integrated into daily routines and play. This keeps the sessions motivating and fun for our clients and sets them up for maximum learning and success.
Why Discrete Trial Training is Helpful
Learners on the Autism Spectrum have a difficult time learning incidentally and through observation as typical peers learn. DTT is particularly effective for early intervention as it simplifies and isolates concepts that the child has not yet learned. Complex skills are taught to children by first teaching the sub components of a skill. ABA techniques such as shaping are also utilized to teach sub components of more complex skills. Once a child masters the subcomponents of a complex skill, they are then linked together so that the child learns the functional use of the complex skill. DTT teaches basic concepts as well as play, communication and daily living skills. Feedback is given to the child immediately to prevent any confusion. The goal of DTT is to teach new concepts over time by reinforcing correct responses. Learning is maximized because each trial is brief and many learning opportunities are presented. Prompts and feedback are very concise and simple and instructions are presented very clearly to the child. DTT is faded out as the learner progresses and more naturalistic strategies replace DTT.
Discrete Trial Training with Naturalistic Teaching Methods
To ensure a comprehensive and effective program DTT and naturalistic techniques such as verbal behavior training, pivotal response treatment and natural environment teaching are implemented in conjunction with one another. These strategies together teach skills in a more playful and natural environment while using reinforcement that is directly related to the skill being taught which resembles natural learning contingencies. At Morning Star ABA Therapy a mixture of DTT and naturalistic teaching methods are utilized to provide the most effective ABA treatment.