Small Steps, Big Accomplishments

Home » Blog » Small Steps, Big Accomplishments
Small Steps, Big Accomplishments

Small Steps, Big Accomplishments

Have you noticed challenging behaviors in a student? Do you want to change or replace those behaviors? Check out three tricks from ABA’s Discrete Trials Teaching.  They work for our Little Dreamers and they should work for your students, too!

Discrete Trials Teaching (DTT)

After three months of working with a student during Discrete Trials Teaching (DTT), one of our students who would not respond to his name, finally answers, “yes,” when he hears his name called! What a celebration! 


  1. Find your student’s reinforcement during DTT. Give the student a Discriminative Stimulus. For example, “When I say your name, answer yes.” Continue going through the trial until the student responds correctly.  When he/she has responded correctly, the reinforcement should be given immediately.  This is a time for you, the teacher or parent, to collect data and set up for the next trial.
  1. Now that you have completed the first step, try it again, with the goal of the student answering much sooner than before.  Again, after the student has achieved the goal of answering correctly, give the reinforcement and congratulate the student. If the student does not answer correctly, continue with the trials until the desired response is achieved.
  1. Continue practicing trials continuously to make sure your student responds desirably.  To promote positive behavior responses, make sure to have your reinforcement in-hand.  After a while, positive behaviors will become rote. 

The Payoff 

Not only does this positive behavior reinforcement promote positive habits, but it decreases the time spent dealing with challenging behaviors and increases time enjoying class or life at home. 

Perfect practice makes perfect habits!