Earlier this year, Connie Wong and her colleagues at the University of North Carolina Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute issued a report, Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  This report is a follow-up to a 2007 review by the National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on ASD,  which resulted in the identification of 24 practices that met the evidentiary criteria they had established. Briefs for each of the 24 practices may be downloaded here.

The recently released EBP report provides the results of an updated review of the literature. Using five databases (EBSCO, EMBASE, Medline, ISI, Sociological Abstracts) and a range of descriptors (e.g., autism, Asperger), the initial search generated over 29,000 articles published between 1990 and 2011), which were winnowed down to 1,090 after screening to ensure investigators employed an experimental, quasi-experimental, or single case design. One hundred fifty-nine reviewers were selected to review the articles; they were expected to complete training and meet inter-rater agreement criteria.  These reviewers then determined whether a practice met the level of evidence necessary to be classified as an EBP using the following criteria: (a) two high quality experimental or quasi-experimental design studies, or (b) five single case design studies conducted by three different research groups and involving a total of 20 participants across studies, or (c) there is combination of research designs, which must include at least one high quality experimental/quasi-experimental design and three high quality single case designs. From the 1,090 articles, 456 articles were accepted as providing scientific evidence. Content analyses of procedures produced 27 different practices (see report for details).

Fact Sheets for each of the 27 practices may be downloaded here.

For a copy of the report, click here.


1  The NPDC on ASD is a multi-university center that operates through three sites: the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,  the M.I.N.D. Institute at University of California at Davis Medical School, and the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.