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Discrete trial training (DTT) is a method based on the principle of breaking behavior down into small (discrete) steps that have a clear beginning, middle and end. This is called a "single teaching unit." Trials are often repeated several times and the child is rewarded for answering correctly. DTT can be done in classrooms or homes. It can even be done in the community. When DTT is implemented in multiple environments, generalization is more likely to occur. This module will provide information on the evidence-based intervention, DTT.

  • What's Included
  • 30 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $15 certficate
  1. Identify the foundations of Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and understand why it was developed
  2. Describe at least two different skills for which DTT could be utilized
  3. Describe how to implement DTT in a variety of settings
  4. Describe how to apply DTT strategies with learners with varying skill levels and challenges
  5. Identify the evidence base for DTT
  6. Identify data collection measures to monitor the frequency, duration, and intensity of the behavior at the start of, during, and following the discrete trial training process
  7. Develop and implement a list of intervention steps to conduct the discrete trial procedures
  8. Complete frequent follow-up checks of intervention

Module Authors

Jennifer Bogin, BCBA

Jennifer Bogin is the Founder/Executive Director of the Fields Center in Northampton, MA. Fields Center offers interdisciplinary autism treatment to individuals on the spectrum, their treatment providers and their families across the lifespan. As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Jennifer has been working with individuals and families in various capacities for over 20 years. Most importantly, Jennifer is the doting sister and aunt to her family members on the autism spectrum.

Lisa Sullivan, Ph.D.

Dr. Lisa Sullivan is a former classroom teacher who obtained her doctorate from UC Davis in Learning and Mind Sciences in 2010. She has worked extensively with classroom teachers and higher education faculty. Lisa has conducted over twenty program evaluations for K-12 and university based education initiatives. She has expertise in the area of special education, having worked on a national implementation grant to support general education teachers to implement best practices for students with autism. Lisa has also taught both credential and Masters students at UC Davis, Sacramento State University and Loyola Marymount University.

Sally Rogers, Ph.D.

Sally J. Rogers, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the MIND Institute, University of California Davis has been awarded many NIH grants for autism research. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Sciences and the International Society for Autism Research. Past roles include associate editor of the journal Autism Research, member of the Autism Speaks Global Autism Public Health Initiative and the Autism workgroup for DSM 5. She has published over 200 papers and books. The Early Start Denver Model, developed by Rogers and Geraldine Dawson, was recognized by and Autism Speaks as one of the 10 main medical breakthroughs of 2012.

Module Contributors

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education from 2007-2014. The work of the NPDC was a collaboration among three universities-the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the MIND Institute, University of California-Davis. The goal of the NPDC was to promote the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for children and youth with ASD, birth to 22 years of age.

Wendy Szakacs, M.S.

Wendy Szakacs is an OCALI Regional Consultant for northeast /eastern Ohio. She develops evidence-based materials, provides technical assistance and professional development leading projects in social competence, bullying, behavior, communication, and executive function. Szakacs collaborates with regional partners in the creation and presentation of professional development to local school district staff and families. She has presented at local, state, and national conferences on various topics about autism spectrum disorder, including comprehensive program planning, structured teaching, social competence, challenging behavior, and executive function.

Laura Maddox, Ph.D.

Laura Maddox, PhD, BCBA, COBA is the program director for the Center for the Young Child at OCALI. She has directed federal and state grants related to children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and in foster care. She was assistant director of the Boys Town Institute for Child Health Improvement, co-director of the Barkley Autism Research Project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and state coordinator of the Nebraska ASD Network. She is a past recipient of the Alice B. Hayden Emerging Leader Award from TASH and the Ruth J. Eichman Early Childhood Educator Award from the Lincoln Public School Foundation.

Janette Long, BCBA

Janette Long has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2005 and received her Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Ohio State University in 2012. Janette has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since May 2013. She works at Nationwide Children's Hospital: Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders currently as a Clinical Supervisor, with duties that include serving as the agency's ACE Provider, the RBT requirements coordinator, and supervising the Transition-age services in the Behavioral Intervention Program.

Module Content Provided By

Content for this module was developed by The National Professional Development Center On Autism Spectrum Disorders

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