For children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the research literature is clear about the importance of using the best available evidence and professional judgement to systematically address learning and behavior support needs, while also respecting the strengths and preferences of the individual and the family. The use of data collection and progress monitoring assures that interventions are effective in helping children 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 practice model. View the START Evidence-Based Practice Handout.
Schools also need to use evidence-based practice at a building and classroom level. START has created both a building level assessment tool and a classroom level tool for educators and administrators to use when evaluating the implementation of practices in their building. 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 the primary tool used by START coaches to work with teams to improve building level supports for students. The Classroom Environment and Teaching Assessment-Revised (CETA-R) tool is utilized by teachers to assess whether EBP are in place at the classroom level.
National Resources for Evidence Based Practices
- 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 Professional Development Center on ASD.
- 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
- A wide range of resources including materials , videos, tip sheets, and webinars for parents, educators, and schools.
- 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
- Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health (AIR-B)
- High quality tools and information created by the country's top researchers and clinicians
- 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.
- 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.