The Key Differences Between DTT and ABA Therapy

Discrete trial training (DTT) and applied behavior analysis (ABA) are two approaches to therapy that are often used to help individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities learn new skills and improve behaviors. While both approaches are based on the principles of ABA, they differ in how they are implemented and the specific techniques they use.

One key difference between DTT and ABA is the structure of the therapy sessions. DTT sessions are typically highly structured and use a specific set of steps to teach a new skill or modify a behavior. These steps include presenting a prompt, providing reinforcement for a correct response, and correcting any incorrect responses. DTT sessions often focus on one specific skill or behavior at a time, and progress is usually measured through the use of data collection and analysis.

ABA, on the other hand, is a more broad-based approach that can be used to teach a wide range of skills and behaviors. ABA sessions may be less structured than DTT sessions, and may use a variety of techniques to teach new skills or modify behaviors. These techniques may include positive reinforcement, shaping, and fading. ABA therapy may also use data collection and analysis to track progress, but the focus is often on the overall functioning of the individual rather than on specific skills or behaviors.

Another important difference between DTT and ABA is the role of the therapist. In DTT, the therapist typically plays a more active role in leading the therapy sessions and providing prompts and reinforcement. In ABA, the therapist may take a more collaborative approach, working with the individual to identify goals and developing a plan to achieve those goals.

Overall, DTT and ABA are both effective approaches to therapy for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. The choice between the two will depend on the specific needs and goals of the individual and the preferences of the therapist and the individual’s family.