The Discrete Trial Format (DTF) is a simplified, structured learning strategy, which is especially helpful for early learners or those who are more severely affected. Simple, easy instructions, effective prompts, non-ambiguous feedback and repeated teaching trials are some of the most important features. The strategy is especially successful for early learning of discrimination and first imitation. Using different task arrangements a variety of concepts can be matched and sorted, such as: colors, shapes, sizes, amounts, letters, numbers, words, but also categories, opposites or feelings, belonging concepts. The following trailer shows various task types and levels of difficulty.
For more information see Vera Bernard-Opitz, (2007) Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A structured teaching and experience-based program for therapist, teachers, and parents, Pro-Ed.
A training in DTF is necessary to apply this strategy effectively.