The National Autism Center has completed its National Standards Project on addressing the need for evidence-based practice guidelines for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The primary goal of the project was to provide critical information about which treatments have been shown to be effective for children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD. This multiyear and comprehensive analysis examines and quantifies the level of research supporting interventions and treatments that target the core deficits of ASD. The findings include the identification of eleven (11) “established’ treatments; twenty-two (22) “emerging” treatments; and five (5) “unestablished” treatments. The report is available from the National Autism Center at their website (www.nationalautismcenter.org). This information is especially important to service providers, educators, caregivers and parents as it identifies evidence-based treatments and provides standards and guidelines on making treatment choices. Interventions or treatments identified as categories of “established” and effective treatments include the following.
• Antecedent Package
• Behavioral Package
• Comprehensive Behavioral Treatment for Young Children
• Joint Attention Intervention
• Naturalistic Teaching Strategies
• Peer Training Package
• Pivotal Response Treatment
• Story-based Intervention package.
Treatment strategies associated with these categories include applied behavior analysis (ABA), positive behavior support, discrete trial training, incidental teaching, peer-mediated interactions, pivotal response teaching, schedules, self-monitoring, and perspective taking activities such as social stories. More detailed descriptions are available from the National Standards Report (2009). The report also suggests that practitioners continue to follow the recommendations for the provision of services provided by the National Research Council (2001). Specifically, educational services provided as soon as the child is identified with an autism spectrum disorder and scientifically validated approaches implemented according to each child’s unique educational and developmental needs.
National Autism Center (2009). National Standards Project-Addressing the need for evidence-based practice guidelines for autism spectrum disorders. Randolph, MA: National Autism Center.
National Research Council (2001). Educating children with autism. Committee on Educational Interventions for Children Autism, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.