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I am proud to be associated with ABA India, a not for profit organization engaged in studying and applying the science of behavioral analysis in treating autistic disorder. ABA India is organizing the 1st ABA Conference in India...

VVS Laxman
Ace Indian Cricketer
Good Will Ambassador for ABA - India

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ABA India is a not for profit organization supported by parents of individuals with Autism, practitioners and caregivers in this special field. I'm proud to be associated with the organization as a "Goodwill Ambassador"...

Gautam Gambhir
Ace Indian Cricketer
Good Will Ambassador for ABA - India

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I' m honored to be associated with ABA India as a "Goodwill Ambassador" for the First Asia Pacific Conference in Bangalore on December 11-12, 2010. I support the work that ABA - India, has set out to do in India...

Farouque Sheikh
Film Actor & Theatre Personality

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HomeABA as Treatment
ABA as Treatement
Discrete Trial Training DTT
by Smita Awasthi

Discrete trial training (DTT) is an intervention procedure which is very effective in teaching a variety of skills. (Lovaas, 1977, 1981). In discrete trial teaching the skill is broken down to it simplest level to address the needs of a learner with short attention span and taught using prompts to keep the learner successful so they can access reinforcers...

Each trial has a definite beginning and end. This is the simplest unit of learning. Discrete trial training has been practiced in structured settings like teaching at the table chair, as well as in natural environment under motivation conditions.

Discrete trial training is a five-part unit of instruction:
• The Discriminative Stimulus (the instruction from the trainer)
• A prompt (the support provided by the trainer to the child)
• A response (what the learner does or says)
• A consequence (reinforcing after the consequence)
• An inter-trial interval (a few seconds of gap before the next instruction is presented).

An example of discrete trial teaching.

• Trainer asks, "Touch toes"
• Trainer prompts, "By physically prompting to touch toes"
• Learner responds, "By touching toes on the prompt"
• The trainer exclaims "Yaeee! Great job" and tickles the learner.
• Trainer pauses a few seconds before giving the next instruction.

Discrete trial training method can be used to build receptive language skills, tacts, intraverbals, imitation skills, play skills, and many other skills.

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Natural Environment Training
Dr. Priyanka Bhabu

Natural Environment Training (NET) is an important part of Verbal Behavior methodology for teaching language. Teaching in the natural environment simply means that the child's responses are related to something that is valuable to the child in that moment...

For example, if the child is playing with a bus and you ask him to label the engine and to tell you what has a conductor, this would be what we would call NET. On the other hand, if the child was playing with a bus and we asked him to clap their hands and tell us their name, this would not be NET as those responses are not in any way related to the fun activity of the train.

The purpose in describing NET this way is simply this; ultimately we want the children we work with to be able to have conversations with other people and when people converse it is usually on a topic that both people find mutually likeable. NET also gives us the opportunity to generalize new verbal skills across settings and stimuli more naturally.

This skills-training takes place in the child’s natural environment when he or she is engaged in the normal activities of everyday life. All of these skills can be broken down into their smallest components and taught; with NET it is possible to teach a child in every activity that we do with him.

NET is looser than Discrete Trial Training( DTT) and is conducted in the child’s typical daily environment eg. Home , school, playground etc.

Scientific evidence suggests that both forms of language intervention are equally effective but “Natural language teaching has many strengths, few drawbacks and produces equal generalization and retention under disadvantageous conditions, it is strongly recommended as preferable for people with autism and mental retardation”

Advantages • Child directed - is more fun for the child

• Less disruptive behaviors
• Reduced need for use of aversives.
• Improvements in Verbal Behavior - eg. Due to Mand Training - which is inherently reinforced and is not lead by external reinforcers or motivators
• All Verbal operants can be taught in the NET with careful planning
• Simulates more of the natural exchange and interaction
• The training conditions are more like what will be in a Kindergarten setting
• Elaborate generalization procedures are not required


• More difficult to teach to a trainer because it cannot be a cut and dry procedure - data collection is not easy , does not follow certain progressive steps eg. Noun , verbs ..etc.
• The responses do not come under the control of variables other than motivators
• Difficult to follow through with the child's motivators all the time
• Motivators in a child with developmental disability may be limited
• Difficult to conduct high rate and number of trials
• Motivations and specific reinforcement may not be available in other situations so generalization of verbal responses may not happen
• Does not improve responding in situations that are not motivating to the child eg. In classrooms, when the adult is giving a instruction etc.

Good option is to combine the two approaches of NET and DTT and leverage on benefits at the right time.

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Incidental Teaching
By Meera Ramani BCaBA

Incidental Teaching is when the natural environment is arranged to attract the child to desired materials and activities...

During this time, the teacher is available to provide praise, attention and instruction when the child initiates interaction with the materials.[Hart and Risley,1982].It is used as a supplement to the discrete trial.

When we try to follow Incidental Teaching steps we recognize or arrange teaching opportunities in environment to initiate target skill. Teacher waits for child to make response and then she may prompt the child to the next level of response. The reinforcer is the access to activity itself. For example, Deena is standing at the playground door. She tries to open the door but it is too heavy. The teacher prompts Deena to say 'Help' Deena says 'Help' and the teacher opens the door. The next time Deena goes to the door she says 'Help'.

Reinforcement is easy in Incidental teaching .The student has access to what he wants -food, toy, neededitems, actions or social interaction for which the student has initiated. Incidental teaching involves the following.

• Arranging the environment,
• Giving only some materials needed to complete the task
• Making something unusual happen in the environment,
• Handing over an object to the student that he can’t operate without help.

In Discrete Trial, environment and stimuli are predetermined to teach a specific skill whereas In Incidental teaching environment and stimuli are arranged to initiate target skill.Both are part of the ABA Program.

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Verbal Behavior
By Dr. Gazala Ali BCaBA
The most socially significant aspects of human behavior involve verbal behavior. Verbal Behavior plays a vital role in most of the major aspects of individual's life. It is the behavior which involves the social interaction between a speaker and listener.

Inappropriate behavior such as aggression, screaming, crying, and self abuse may function as verbal behavior for a non verbal child. Most non verbal children easily acquire these inappropriate negative behaviors as a mean of communication due to their immediate effects on adults.

B.F Skinner in 1957 explained that Language could be analyzed into a set of Functional units with each type of unit serves a different function and described following categories of speech:
• Mands are requests ("I want a drink, I am hungry, I want to play"), It allows a child to get what he wants, when he wants it.
• Tacts are labels, (car, running, elephant"), here the speaker names the things and actions that the speaker has direct contact with through any of the sense modes.
• Echoics are verbal imitations, ("Say book on hearing book"), Repeats what another person says.
• Intraverbals are conversational responses, (Answering "fine", when asked, how are you?")

A Verbal Behavior program will focus on getting a child to realize that language will get him what he wants, when he wants it. Requesting is often one of the first verbal skills taught; children are taught to use language to communicate, rather than just to label items. Learning how to make requests also should improve their behavior and have better control over their environment.

Thus, if you have complete understanding of a language deficit, more effective language intervention program, can be obtained by determining the strengths and weaknesses of each of the verbal unit mentioned above.

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