For students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the research literature is clear about the importance of using evidence-based practices and professional judgment to systematically address learning and behavior support needs, while also respecting the strengths and preferences of the individual and the family. Collecting and evaluating student data assures that interventions are effective in helping students to develop social, behavioral, adaptive, and academic skills. If schools are going to meet the complex needs of students with ASD and improve long-term outcomes, it is necessary to follow an evidence-based decision-making model that incorporates all of these components. View the START Evidence-Based Practice Handout.
Schools need to use evidence-based practices at the building and classroom levels. START has created both a classroom-level tool and a building-level assessment tool for educators and administrators to use when evaluating the implementation of practices in their building. The Classroom Environment and Teaching Assessment-Revised (CETA-R) tool is utilized by teachers to assess whether evidence-based practices are in place at the classroom level. The Universal Supports Assessment and Planning Tool (USAPT) is a self-assessment and goal-setting tool for school systems to use to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. The USAPT is a tool used by building teams to improve building-level supports for students.
National Resources for Evidence Based Practice
- National Clearinghouse on Evidence-Based Practice (NCAEP)
NCAEP conducted a systematic review of the current intervention literature targeting individuals on the autism spectrum. This is a continuation of the evidence review that was completed by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC). Research is reviewed on the impact of behavioral, educational, clinical, and developmental practices and service models used with individuals on the autism spectrum from birth through age 21.
- Autism-Focused Intervention Resources and Modules
- High-quality, free internet modules on evidence-based practices developed from the work of the National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice (NCAEP).
- Autism Internet Modules (AIM)
- High-quality, free internet modules on evidence-based practices developed from OCALI.
- National Autism Center -- National Standards Project (NSP)
- The NSP provides information about which interventions have been shown in the research literature to be effective for individuals with ASD
- IRIS Center at Vanderbilt - Autism Modules
- These modules were designed to provide foundational information about ASD to educators.
- Marcus Autism Center - Tips and Resources
- Parent resources to navigate support for a child with autism
- VCU Autism Center of Excellence
- Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
- Free, online modules about autism in young children, the screening and referral process, evidence-based practices and interventions, transition to adulthood, and building the family/professional partnership.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Numerous links to resources for Families, Healthcare providers, Educators, and Adults with ASD
- National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII)
- Information and tools to support the implementation of intensive intervention for students with severe and persistent learning and/or behavioral needs
- Association for Science in Autism Treatment
- ASAT provides respected, comprehensive information focused on an array of considerations surrounding autism treatment, including identifying empirically-supported treatments.
- UC Davis MIND Institute
- Webcast series on information and practices critical to understanding ASD and working with individuals with ASD
- TIES Center
- National technical assistance center on inclusive practices and policies. The purpose is to create educational systems that allow students with significant cognitive disabilities to fully engage in the same instructional and non-instructional activities as their peers.
- The Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Autism-at-a-glance information sheets addressing a wide range of topics relevant to adolescents and young adults with ASD.
- OCALI What Works for Work: Evidence-Based Transition Practices and Predictors
- Effective tools and resources to teach skills for employment.
- Organization for Autism Research (OAR)
- OAR creates many resources to help parents, families, individuals with autism, teachers, and caregivers.
- ASD Toddler Initiative
- The ASD Toddler Initiative expands on work conducted by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC-ASD) funded by the Office of Special Education Programs. The ASD Toddler Initiative develops new materials and modifies existing processes to support the use of evidence-based practices for young children (birth-3) and for their families.