Discrete Trial Training

Discrete Trial Training is a highly structured teaching technique that often involves a therapist working one-to-one with an individual with autism in a distraction free setting. Each learning trial begins with the therapist giving a short, clear instruction or question such as “Do this” or “What is it?”

After instruction time, the student has an opportunity to respond.

    • If the response is correct, the teacher immediately applies reinforcement such as praise; if the response is incorrect, the teacher immediately implements a correction procedure such as guiding the student to perform to the correct response.
    • Discrete trial instruction is an effective teaching strategy providing a variety of skills to individuals with autism. It is important to note, however, that this teaching procedure needs to be used in combination with other interventions such as incidental teaching.