There tends to be a lot of confusion between terms Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). Often times when people talk about ABA programs for children with autism, they are actually referring to DTT. DTT is one of several types of teaching strategies that fall under the umbrella of ABA. So let’s tease the two apart.
ABA applies the science of “behaviorism,” to bring about meaningful change in an individual’s actions. It looks at behavior as a three step process: the antecedent (a cue or instruction), the behavior and the consequence.
For example, when you’re hungry (antecedent), you eat something (behavior) and then you feel better (consequence). You enjoyed a positive consequence for your behavior, and this increases the likelihood that you’ll again eat when hungry in the future!
ABA applies this principle as an intervention to produce positive changes in behavior. Beyond the field of autism, it’s widely used to help individuals develop positive behaviors – such as good study habits. It’s also used to help those struggling with problem behaviors such as drug addiction.
Read more of Dr. Lauren Elder's Autism Speaks' Blog article HERE.