NET: Natural Environment Training for Long Term Change

Published on March 15, 2024

NET: Natural Environment Training for Long Term Change

Published on March 15, 2024

What Is NET?

Family Priority believes that Natural Environment Training (NET) is the most effective way to promote long-term change. NET is a teaching approach used in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy that emphasizes teaching skills and behaviors in the natural environment where they are most likely to occur most often in the home setting. Unlike traditional discrete trial training, which often takes place in structured settings like therapy rooms, NET incorporates teaching opportunities into the individual’s everyday routines and activities.

Family Priority believes that Natural Environment Training (NET) is the most effective way to promote long-term change.

Key Principles of NET:

Here are some key features and principles of Natural Environment Training (NET):

  1. Naturalistic Settings: Unlike traditional ABA therapy which often relies on structured settings, NET embraces the natural environment as the primary training ground. This means your child learns essential skills and behaviors within the familiar contexts of their daily life, such as at home, school, or the park. This approach fosters a deeper understanding and retention of the learned skills, as they are directly relevant and applicable to their everyday routine.
  2. Child-Led Approach: NET often follows a child-led or learner-initiated approach, where the therapist or caregiver follows the child’s interests and preferences to create learning opportunities. Therapists act as guides and facilitators, incorporating their natural curiosity and enjoyment into the learning process. This child-led approach fosters increased motivation and engagement, making learning more enjoyable and impactful.
  3. Incidental Teaching: Instead of rigid schedules and pre-planned activities, NET capitalizes on natural teachable moments that arise throughout the day. Imagine turning mealtimes, playtime, or bath routines into opportunities for learning. This spontaneous and organic approach feels more natural and fosters better memory retention, as the learning is directly linked to real-life experiences.
  4. Prompting and Prompt Fading: NET employs prompts and supports to guide your child initially. However, as your child progresses, these prompts are gradually faded out. This step-by-step approach empowers your child to develop self-reliance and independence, allowing them to master skills and apply them confidently even without constant guidance.
  5. Functional Communication Training: NET goes beyond teaching skills; it focuses on equipping your child with functional communication skills for everyday use. NET often emphasizes teaching functional communication skills, such as requesting, commenting, and expressing needs, within the context of natural interactions. Imagine learning to ask for a favorite toy or expressing needs clearly at the grocery store. This empowers your child to build stronger relationships and navigate social interactions more effectively.
  6. Generalization and Maintenance: A key benefit of NET is its focus on generalization and maintenance. By practicing skills in real-life settings, your child develops the ability to apply and maintain these skills in various environments and situations. This translates to lasting positive change that extends far beyond the therapy room. By teaching skills in natural environments, individuals are more likely to apply and maintain those skills in real-life situations outside of therapy sessions.
natural environment training at home

Learn More About NET and ABA Therapy

Overall, Natural Environment Training (NET) is a person-centered approach to teaching and learning that promotes skill development within the context of everyday life. It recognizes the importance of embedding teaching opportunities into the natural environment to maximize learning outcomes and promote meaningful behavior change.

NET offers a transformative approach to ABA therapy, empowering your child to thrive in their natural environment and achieve their full potential. If you’re ready to explore how NET can benefit your child, reach out to us today for a free consultation. At Family Priority, we believe every child holds immense potential. By incorporating NET into our ABA therapy programs, we strive to empower your child to thrive in their natural environment and achieve lasting positive change.

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