Discrimination Trials: Extremely Important in Special Education Instruction

Discrimination Trials are very important when teaching new skills. This week I found myself communicating with a team of educators/therapists and independent service providers regarding this subject.

My communication with a student’s assistant: Caleb and I worked on the typing issues. He is not discriminating between, “type”, “spell”, and “read”. He is unsure of his role when asked to do one of these with the laptop in front of him. Think about it this way, the laptop is a signal that he is going to be typing something; however, if the laptop is in front of him and you simply ask him to “read” or “spell” a word he is lost. Make sure you are using the terms in the correct manner. When you want him to type something on the laptop say, “type” (to communicate he is actually going to be typing), if you want him to spell something (this means he verbally spells it) use “spell”, if you want him to read a word (verbally say it) use “read”. Do not use “spell” for typing something on the laptop. We will introduce this later. First, we need to get him discriminating between the three terms. I want you to take data on using this discrimination trial using his weekly spelling words. Remember, you are not collecting data on spelling the word correctly. You are taking data on his ability to execute the task you have cued. If you say “type zip” and he types it on the keyboard, score with a (+). If you say “type zip” and he says, “z…i…p…”, you will score with a (-).

Check out this new BOOM Card deck with discrimination drills built in.

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