Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Evidence-Based Services

National Standards Project, National Autism Center (NAC), final reports including:

Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Behavioral Interventions Update (August 2014) finds that there is a growing evidence base suggesting that behavioral interventions - especially early, intensive therapies based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) - can be associated with positive outcomes for children with autism. However, more research is needed to understand which interventions are most effective for specific children and to isolate elements or components of interventions most associated with effects. This systematic review was produced for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) by the Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center. It is an update to a 2011 report. See the related Consumer Summary (September 2014) for caregivers and parents.

WWW: Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder (February 2014) provides guidance for diagnosing and treating infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents (0 to 18 years of age) with autism and presents recommendations that include: multidisciplinary care; coordination of services; early, sustained intervention; the use of multiple treatment modalities; helping families with long-term planning; and finding support for parents and siblings. It was published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (p. 237-257). It updates an earlier guidance document published in 1999 and incorporates new research findings.

WWW: Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Wong, et al, 2014) - The National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) identified 27 focused intervention practices that provide a solid, empirical basis on which to design programs for children and youth with ASD. This report discusses the identification of the 27 EBPs and includes fact sheets for each. Learn more about evidence-based practices for ASD here. (NPDC-ASD)

WWW: Autism Awareness and Acceptance in Early Childhood Education - This Website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) includes fact sheets, videos, tips, and links to state-specific resources. One of the resources includes PDF: Tips for Early Care and Education Providers: Simple Concepts to Embed in Everyday Routines (2013) offered by autism intervention researchers around the country and compiled by ACF and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

WWW: Nonmedical Interventions for Children With ASD: Recommended Guidelines and Further Research Needs (November 2012) - These guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are based on the findings from a systematic review of the scientific evidence on nonmedical interventions that address cognitive function and core deficits in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). They were developed bya panel leading experts that included practitioners, researchers, and parents. Recommendations for future research priorities are included.

  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P170001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2019 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute