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Discrete Trial Training Recommendations

These are some recommendations that I provided for my RBTs.


Before DTT- Things to do to prepare for DTT:

  • Look through the targets in client’s plan to determine what you can add to your session
  • Identify skills that client already knows, is learning, and does not know (include them in DTT)
  • Create a document with the tasks you will have your client do during DTT so that you can mark the activities as + or – as you go instead of having to pause and look through your data collection software (if you use one) to mark the target.


During DTT– Things you can do in the discrete trial setting:

  • Ask client to imitate a sequence of movements
  • Ask client to spell a sight word 
  • As client to read a sight word
  • Ask a social skills question
  • Work on discrimination (touch the car, in an array of pictures)
  • Present 1, 2, and 3-step instructions
  • Practice receptive identification
  • Practice tacting


  1. say “mama”- imitation 

  2. touch nose- receptive 

  3. give me pencil- receptive 

  4. stand up- receptive 

  6. what color- expressive 

  5. how many- expressive 

  6. What is your name?- expressive 


After DTT– What to do when you’re done:

  • Mark if correct responding occurred based on the paper you filled out as you carried out your trials
  • Identify what you need to spend more time teaching or how you will modify your discrete trials in the future.

Hope this helped!


Many things have inspired me along the way, from the way that atoms interact to universal forces working in tandem to bring joy into my life. I arrived from Cuba at the young age of 6 years old, became a big sister to an exceptional little boy at the age of 13, went off to college as a first-generation college student, earned a Bachelor's degree in Biological Chemistry from Grinnell College. After graduating, I became a high school science teacher with Teach for America and taught for 5 years. While teaching, I earned a Master's of Science in Education and Social Change from the University of Miami and then studied at Florida Institute of Technology and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Currently I am loving my life as a BCBA where every day I learn new skills applicable in my practice and in my life.

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