College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Applied Behavior Analysis: Beyond Discrete Trial Teaching

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2007

Publication Title

Psychology in The Schools

ISSN

0033-3085

Volume

44

Issue/No.

1

Abstract

We discuss the problem of autism-specific special education programs representing themselves as Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA) programs when the only ABA intervention employed is Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT), and often for limited portions of the school day. Although DTT has many advantages to recommend its use, it is not well suited to teach the full range of cognitive, social, academic, leisure, and functional living skills children with autism and related disorders need to develop and generalize to varied natural environments. DTT also does not address the treatment of behaviors that can interfere with instruction and the acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of skills many children with autism bring to instructional situations. We describe a comprehensive program of ABA services for children with autism and briefly discuss the various interventions and their applications and combinations to achieve broad improvement in many different skill areas. In our view, “true” ABA programs are comprised of multiple assessment and intervention methods used individually and dynamically to achieve the best results.

DOI

10.1002/pits.20208