Discrete Trial Training is a highly structured teaching method that incorporates specific antecedent stimuli, responses and consequences.  Sessions are generally taught at a table face-to-face with the trainer. DTT involves high numbers of trials and repetition and can look like ‘drills’. DTT is best suited for children who need repetition and minimized distractions to learn skills effectively.  When children are not able to learn age-appropriate skills in the natural environment (which is the case with many children with autism) teaching must occur in a highly controlled environment requiring many trials and little or no outside distractions.

DTT can be he highly effective because of the strict structure and the high number learning trials to which the child is exposed.  DTT is useful for building solid repertoires in children for a variety of skills such as receptive and expressive labels, imitation, self-help, academics and social skills, among others.  When children have acquired the appropriate skills in the structured environment, we always move to then teach those skills in a more natural context, such that the behaviors generalize across people and places. As with Natural Environment Training (NET), goals are based on standardized assessment deficits, our curriculum, clinical input and parent request.