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Question about Discrete Trial Training

Q: Hi Fit In, I’ve noticed that Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is included in many ABA programs, it is so robotic and repetitive, and does it actually help the child? If so, how would it help?

A: DTT is a branch of ABA that is being practised widely by many therapists as past evidence has shown strong support of improvement in teaching autism children with DTT. The DTT method focuses on breaking down skills into smaller chunks, utilizing reinforcement and repetition of trails, thus some criticized it for being too robotic. However, this is only the first step of learning. Generally, children will start with a structured and rote DTT. As they develop, they will transition to a more naturalistic learning style (e.g., NET, incidental teaching). DTT can significantly improve children’s abilities in language, imitation, self-help, motor, and play skills. It is promising especially at the early stage of learning for autism children.


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