Discrete Trial Kit and a Free Sampler

I mentioned my new discrete trial kit in my last post and I wanted to share some more details and some updates that are coming for it.  The original one that is currently posted focuses on receptive ID of colors.  As I was thinking about the next steps, I realized that it didn't make much sense to create a new kit for matching colors because many of the materials were going to be very similar.  So, I decided that I'm going to update the current discrete trial kit to include matching colors and expressive ID of colors.  I will raise the price a little but.  However, if you have already purchased the kit, or purchase it before I get it updated (which I hope will be in the next couple days), you will get the updated version for FREE.

So, I wanted to show you a bit more about what is included in the kit and how it works.  Check out the pictures and description below.

3 Tips for Presenting Materials in Discrete Trials: With a Freebie

I feel like I should write a social story for myself about not getting a blog post out when I'm involved with other things (and maybe for you as well, although you seem to handle my delinquent blogging better than I do).  I actually wrote a social story in my head during the last two days (I call that self-regulation).  It's amazing how things just consume me--my newest product for discrete trials is what overran my schedule for the last couple of days.  But the good news is, it's done and posted and I'll refer to it during this post (which was my excuse for not writing it).  Enough....on with it.

In my last post, I talked about characteristics of the materials you use in discrete trials and elements that need careful consideration to assure that we are teaching the skills we intend to teach and not letting our students be led astray by irrelevant distractions.  Today, I want to talk about how we present those materials to the student so that our instruction is the most efficient and we assure they are learning what they are supposed to be being taught.  

6 Considerations in Choosing and Preparing Materials for Discrete Trials

Let me come clean at the start of this post....I promised a freebie related to discrete trials in my last post and I'm just not quite done with it yet.  I do promise that it will be worth the wait but I need to make sure I have all the ducks in a row before I can release it.  So please hang with me if you can for another post or two before I'm ready to share.  I actually found I was delaying this post in order to be able to post it, but it's just going to take more time than I expected (and when have I NOT said that about any type of product!).  I do promise it will be worthwhile--it's a huge freebie and it just keeps getting bigger.  I also may have some opportunities for testers of a new set of products, so leave me a comment if you are interested or keep an eye on my Facebook page for more information about that.

In this series I have been talking about how to present the trial--how to present the verbal part of the instructions and my last few posts have focused on that aspect of presenting the trial.  Today I want to talk about how we present the materials within a trial.  When we are presenting receptive language, reading, and other types of skills that require the student to choose from a set of materials, you want to be careful about how the materials are prepared and how you show them to the students.

5 Take-Away Points from Dr. Pat Mirenda's Talk

Those of you who follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook, you know that yesterday I attended a session by Dr. Pat Mirenda on communication and challenging behavior.  Dr. Mirenda's work was some of the earliest my mentor pointed me to when I was in graduate school and it continues to have a big influence on my work.  She has an impressive ability to make everything complicated much clearer and to present things in a common sense way with clear applications.  You may be detecting a wee bit of idol worship here and she definitely should be on my list of Autism Presenters worth seeing.  I want to thank the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University CARD center for bringing Dr. Mirenda in to speak.

Several commenters had asked for some more information about some of the quotes I shared in social media, so I thought I would take this opportunity to share 5 Take-Away Messages from Dr. Mirenda's talk with you.

7 Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Discrete Trial Training

Earlier in this series, I talked about things to avoid when giving directions in discrete trial training (DTT).  One of those was giving away the answer with your direction.  Today I want to focus on 7 things you may be doing in your presentation of instructions and materials that may be giving away undermining your teaching.  Essentially they teach the student to attend to the wrong thing.

These are all things that each of us have done at one time or another and they are remarkably easy to do without realizing it.  Often you only realize you are doing it when an observer points it out.  They are all things I've done at one time or another.  Once in a while you can say, "oops" and correct it.  However, if it becomes a pattern, or happens too often, then you may not be teaching what you think you are teaching.

Working Toward Autism Awareness, Acceptance and Appreciation: NAAM15

As promised I am back to ring in Autism Month.  If you check out last year's post, you will find lots of statistics and details about autism itself.  You will also find social media pictures that you can use on your Facebook, Instagram etc. to show your support for autism.  Since I've covered all of that last year, I didn't want to cover the same material.  Because let's face it, if you have already found the blog, and probably if you are new to the blog, you probably already know what autism is.

It's interesting, because we still call April Autism Awareness month, but really I rarely meet a person anymore who doesn't know about autism.  That's a big difference than when I started in this field.  When I first started consulting and traveling, I spent a good bit of time on planes.  People would frequently ask me what I did for a living.  When I told them I worked with kids with autism, I usually got a reply like, "Oh, I love art!" because autism wasn't a common word.  Now, people ask me what I do and I find myself (after  long week of consulting) telling them that I teach graduate school in education.  Not because they don't know about autism, but because everyone has some experience with autism and sometimes I'm just too tired to hear it on the plane.  :)

This year, I want to share a little information about the autism community and the history that help to put some things in perspective.  And I want to share with you why I think it's important to move April toward acceptance and appreciation.  And I want to share some upcoming resources and tools from the special ed. blogger community as well as the autism community to help you raise acceptance and appreciation and help you support individuals on the spectrum and their families.

5 Things to Avoid When Giving Instructions in Discrete Trials

OOOh, there is just so much going on at one time. Dr. Kabot and I are hopefully finishing our final edit on our data collection book which is keeping me pretty busy.  I hope it will be out this summer.  Plus, we are coming up on April, Autism Awareness (and Acceptance) month.  We have a few great things lined up with some friends that I will share on Wednesday.  I will have some link ups of free autism products and some other surprises, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, if you are looking for ways to help build awareness and acceptance, check out last year's freebies for Facebook cover pages and profile pictures HERE.

Following up on the last post about presenting instructions to students in DTT, I wanted to share some of the things that we have found that contribute to the effectiveness of DTT (and any type of instruction).  You can follow all the steps but it's also the quality with which the instruction is delivered that makes a difference as to what the student really learns.   As I mentioned last time, part of it is what we say (and how we say it) and part of it is the material presentation.  I'm going to focus on what we say and how we say it first beginning with 5 things we DON'T want to do...starting with SD Voice.

Presenting Instructions in Discrete Trials: What Makes a Quality SD?

Once we have the learner's attention, our next step is to give the instruction. Let me preface this by saying I know that one of the biggest stumbling blocks for ABA is that we use our own language.  I'm going to simplify the language as I talk about the parts of discrete trials, but I'm going to try to talk as well about what the language is and why we use it.  I find I meet a number of teachers who want to know WHY we call things what we do (as well as many people who misunderstand why).  So, I'm going to talk a little about what the instruction is and how it is conceptualized behaviorally. You can skip that part by skimming past a short paragraph or two to the part of the post where I'll talk about what to do.

Why I No Longer Teach "Look at Me" (But Still Teach Attending)

Thanks to Educlips for the Eyes!
In my last post I talked about the importance of teaching a student to attend to the instructor before delivering instruction.  However, over time, how I teach this skill has changed significantly.  It's a little like the videos that were in the first post on DTT of old school DTT and contemporary DTT.


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