Evaluation of Real-Time Feedback to Train Caregivers to Conduct a Discrete-Trial Instruction Procedure

Amanda L.Gibson Hoppe, Elizabeth J. Preas, William J. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mounting empirical support for early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) has increased demand for early intervention services for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which may include a variety of components such as discrete-trial instruction (DTI) or natural environment teaching (NET). Many caregivers are now learning EIBI techniques and becoming active agents in their child’s ASD treatment. Behavioral skills training (BST) has been frequently used to teach individuals to correctly perform a variety of skills, including DTI (Lafasakis & Sturmey, Lafasakis and Sturmey, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 40:685–689, 2007). In this study, caregivers were trained to conduct a DTI procedure with a single-component BST method (i.e., real-time feedback). A concurrent, multiple baseline across caregivers design was used to evaluate the efficacy of real-time feedback on the caregivers’ implementation of the DTI procedure with confederates. Results showed that real-time feedback yielded short caregiver training times and few sessions to meet the mastery criterion. In addition, caregivers expressed high satisfaction with the real-time feedback training method, and they were able to implement the procedures with their children with high integrity during treatment extension probes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Behavioral Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism
  • Caregiver training
  • Discrete-trial instruction
  • Real-time feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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