Time Delay Fact Sheet
Time delay (TD) is a practice used to systematically fade the use of prompts during instructional activities. With this procedure, a brief delay is provided between the initial instruction and any additional instructions or prompts. The evidence-based research focuses on two types of time delay procedures: progressive and constant. With progressive time delay, the adult gradually increases the waiting time between an instruction and any prompts that might be used to elicit
a response from a learner with ASD. For example, a teacher provides a prompt immediately after an instruction when a learner with ASD is initially learning a skill. As the learner becomes more proficient at using the skill, the teacher gradually increases the waiting time between the instruc- tion and the prompt. In constant time delay, a fixed amount of time is always used between the instruction and the prompt as the learner becomes more proficient at using the new skill. Time delay is always used in conjunction with a prompting procedure (e.g., least-to-most prompting, simultaneous prompting, graduated guidance).
TD meets evidence-based criteria with 12 single case design studies.
According to the evidence-based studies, this intervention has been effective for preschoolers (3-5 years) to young adults (19-22 years) with ASD.
TD can be used effectively to address social, communication, behavior, joint attention, play, cognitive, school-readiness, academic, motor, and adaptive skills.
Fleury, V. P. (2013). Time delay (TD) fact sheet. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Adapted from: Neitzel, J. (2009). Overview of time delay. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Kyle Bringhurst, MSW
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