The Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Environment Training and Discrete Trial Teaching for Persons with Autism.

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A decision that must be made is whether to use discrete trial training drills or incidental teaching to establish functional skills. Discrete trial training is conducted in a highly specified and structured manner, in which the instructor chooses and presents an antecedent stimulus related to the skill of interest, and when the student responds correctly, the response is reinforced. Naturalistic or incidental teaching is loosely structured, and is incorporated into a student’s ongoing routine and follows his or her interests. Variation in antecedent stimuli and respnses is emphasized and reinforcers for correct responses are tied to the student’s ongoing activites. Sundberg and Partington (1999) coined the term ‘natural environment…show more content…
Thus, you miss the most sensitive part of student behaviour. 2) Trial formats hold back the speed with which students can perform. Compare how many capitals of states a student can name using Precision Teaching flascards with the number possible if each is presented to the student with a question, ‘What is the capital of this state?’ 3) With a trial format, students do not initiate responding. They get used to waiting for a teacher before taking any action, encouraging passivity and prompt dependency. 4) Fixed lists of tasks used in DT instruction prevents adapting continually to student’s current performance so that some students may respond incorrectly or others fail to progress when they are ready for more difficult tasks. 5) Most DT procedures include procedures for correction of errors. Correction is not part of shaping. Every failure slows down the rate of responding and dampens momentum. 6) DTT is limited in terms of generalization. 7) DTT needs to reprogram for spontaneous skill use. 8) DTT is quite costly – time and finding. 9) Requires specific programming time blocks. In response to these criticisms, Hart and Risley (1968) developed another procedure known as ‘incidental teaching’, a type of NET used to increase quantity and complexity of mands and generally to a lesser degree tacts. NET involves providing structured learning opportunities within the natural context or naturally occurring activities by

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