Discrete Trial Training and Autism Ranking: Limited positive evidence

Suppliers and Availability


In theory, DTT is only available from a small number of (usually commercial) agencies, such as the Lovaas Institute in the US and Child Autism UK, and as part of a broader ABA programme. In practice, DTT may actually be implemented by a variety of people, including parents and carers, as well as professionals such as teachers.

Support materials are also available from a range of organisations.


According to Simpson et al. (2005)

"Individuals implementing DTT need specialized training that includes theoretical and supervised practical experience in one-to-one behavioral treatment. Smith distinguishes between two levels of proficiency for providing DTT. At the first level, educators can implement DTT with supervision but they cannot develop DTT curricula for specific children. At the second level, educators can supervise DTT programs and be responsible for developing DTT curricula, as well as instruct new teachers to implement this strategy."

There is no internationally recognised qualification for the delivery of DTT but organisations such as the Lovaas Institute in the US and Child Autism UK in the UK run various training programmes for parents and professionals.

In the UK some universities offer degrees in behaviour analysis, including the use of DTT. A stronger indication, but not a guarantee of professional expertise, is the letters BCBA (Board Certified Behaviour Analyst) or BCABA (Board Certified Associate Behaviour Analyst), which is similar but requires less experience. These qualifications indicate that the person has completed coursework in behaviour analysis, had clinical training and passed an exam administered by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board.

In the USA, ABA programs for learners on the autism spectrum should be designed and supervised by qualified behavior analysts, preferably individuals who are Board Certified Behavior Analysts with supervised experience providing ABA treatment for autism, or who can clearly document that they have equivalent training and experience.

31 Oct 2017
Last Review
30 Mar 2016
Next Review
01 Mar 2019