DTI: What's all the fuss?
There seems to be much controversy about the use of DTI...and strangely, its use is often discouraged. But the concerns may be misplaced and are more a function of myth and misunderstanding. First, it needs to be said that DTI is not an intervention (EIBI, DIR, TEACH are interventions). There is no such thing as "DTI Intervention"... One doesn't "do" DTI, one uses it. It is a tool, a teaching procedure, like many others on which we rely in our teaching. Like any tool, we learn how to use it and when it's called for. Lund summarizes:
“EIBI for children with autism is a complex approach based on concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis. Discrete trial instruction is one of many instructional methods that can be used in EIBI. Its effectiveness depends on factors such as quality of curriculum development (competency of curriculum designer), application of complimentary instructional methods and ongoing analysis and adjustments. As with any method, DTI has limitations, but a careful analysis reveals that much of the criticism of DTI may be due to inadequate curriculum development and inappropriate use rather than to the method itself”.
For more on this in detail, see Lund, in Autism Encyclopedia: The Complete Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders