Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Alejandra Zaragoza Scherman

An evaluation of a self-instructional manual for conducting discrete-trials teaching with children with autism

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Ashley Boris, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Kendra Thomson, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Colleen Murphy, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Alejandra Zaragoza Scherman
  • Lindsay Dodson, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Garry Martin, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Daniela Fazzio, St. Amant Centre, Canada
  • C. T. Yu, St. Amant Research Centre, Canada
Discrete-trials teaching (DTT) is a valuable tool within applied behaviour analysis that is used to teach skills to children with autism. We evaluated the effectiveness of a revised DTT self-instructional manual for training individuals to teach 3 tasks to children with autism. Using a modified multiple-baseline-across-participants design, 3 female university students with no previous experience in DTT: (a) attempted to teach 3 tasks to a confederate role-playing a child with autism (baseline), (b) studied the revised self-instructional manual (training), and (c) attempted to teach the 3 tasks to a confederate again (post-training). Participants required an average of 6 hours and 41 minutes to master the manual, and mean accuracy in conducting DTT increased from 45% in baseline to 82% post-training. Two of the 3 participants achieved the mastery criterion (80%) on all 3 teaching tasks on their post-training assessments; the other participant achieved the mastery criterion on all 3 teaching tasks after a session of feedback and demonstration. Participants then attempted to teach the 3 tasks to a child with autism (generalization), and achieved a mean DTT accuracy of 83%.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Disabilities Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article was accepted by 'Developmental Disabilities Bulletin', but the journal ceased to exist (in 2015) before the article was published. (Copies can be obtained from Garry Martin. Email:

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