Mission Cognition

Social, Emotional & Behavioral Wellness Center

What are evidence-based practices and why does it matter?

With the growing number of young children being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, it is no wonder that there are many interventions available. While we can assume that all interventions are well meaning, they are certainly not all created equal and may potentially do more harm than good to the populations for whom they were developed. It is imperative that caregivers understand how to evaluate and select an appropriate intervention for their child. Scientific research has found that only some of the many utilized and marketed interventions are actually effective. These interventions are called evidence based practices (EBP's).

To be considered an EBP by The National Professional Development Center on ASD, efficacy must be established through peer-reviewed research in scientific journals with strict experimental criteria (National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2010). More information on what is considered an evidence based practice and how specific interventions have been evaluated may be found here:

National Standards Project: Phase 1: 2009, Phase 2: 2015

National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on Autism Spectrum Disorder

Evidence Based Practices for Children, Youth and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT)

Autism Internet Modules

Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules (AFIRM)

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards

EBP for Special Educators Teaching Students with ASD (Johns Hopkins School of Education)

Evidence-Based Practice and Autism in the Schools (National Autism Center)