Teaching Children with Autism, continued
To teach for fluency in responding during ABA-based instruction, the teacher needs to begin by controlling for two variables:
(1) latency (the time between the antecedent and the child’s response), and
(2) intertrial intervals (the time between teaching trials)
The issue of latency is taken care of through most-to-least prompting (“errorless learning”). Intertrial intervals refer to the time between the end of the consequence for one trial and the beginning of the next antecedent. Short intertrial intervals may be accomplished in part by taking probe data as a way of checking for acquisition (rather than taking the time to record correctness of response after each teaching trial). That is, checking for mastery of previously-taught items at the beginning of the teaching session, “probing” to see if the previously-taught information is being retained, thus allowing more teaching to be done in less time (and keeping distractibility and motivation-to-work high compared to anything else that the child might find to do).
Remember, of course, that you do need to take enough time to complete each trial before moving on to the next.