Evidence-Based Practices

The field of autism spectrum disorder is constantly changing and evolving. Practically every single day we are learning more about how to serve and support this population in order for them to learn critical skills and become more independent. Because of such ongoing changes in the field of ASD, it is necessary for educators, medical personnel, parents, and other service providers to stay up-to-date on best practices for interventions and strategies available to those with ASD.

Evidence-based practices are those that have been researched and are widely accepted and recognized as effective techniques. There are a number of accepted evidence-based practices regarding autism spectrum disorder. On this page you will find a variety of resources to help you identify and implement evidence-based practices.


The National Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders is a multi-university center dedicated to the promotion of evidence-based practices for ASD. The Center operates three sites at UC Davis MIND Institute, Waisman Center, and the Franklin Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Each of these websites delivers a wealth of information including online training modules, resources, factsheets, and more.

The National Autism Center has an online library and a collection of resources, including articles and information on the National Standards Project and the National Standards Report.

The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence, or OCALI, is a clearinghouse of information on autism research, resources, and trends. The OCALI website contains training and technical assistance including assessment resources and ASD service guidelines.

The Organization for Autism Research is an organization focused entirely on applied research: practical research to address the day-to-day challenges of ASD at home, in the classroom, in the workplace, and in the community.

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee coordinates ASD related activities across the United States Health and Human Services Department and the Office of Autism Research. The IACC publishes yearly summary advance updates from the field of autism spectrum disorder.

Guides and Factsheets

The Organization for Autism Research has an extensive parents' guide to research document that helps a parent to be a savvy consumer of research and to determine good sources of information in autism.

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders has created Evidence-Based Briefs that outline 24 different practices determined to be evidence-based and provides a thorough description of how to implement the strategy.

The National Autism Center has developed the National Standards Report which provides an overview of the National Autism Center and provides a list and description of evidence-based practices and the level of scientific evidence available for each.

The National Autism Center has developed A Parent's Guide to Evidence-Based Practice and Autism, which provides resources and information to families of children with ASD on strategies and supports.

The National Autism Center has developed an Evidence-Based Practice and Autism in the Schools guide which provides information on evidence-based practices and considerations for implementation in the educational setting.

The Virginia Autism Council (VAC) created a guide to support best practices for educating students with ASD through the Skill Competencies for Professionals and Paraprofessionals in Virginia Supporting Individuals with ASD Across the Lifespan. The Council has also created a highly useful Professional Development Tracker for both professionals and paraprofessionals and a PowerPoint presentation that explains how to use the tools. The information in the Skill Competencies can be useful whether you are an educator, professional, family member, or individual with ASD.

VCU-ACE has developed several fact sheets related to evidence-based practices:

Autism Q and A: Designing Instructional Programs for Skill Acquisition

Autism Q and A: Facilitating Skill Acquisition Using Positive Reinforcement

Autism Q and A: Reinforcement Assessment

Autism Q and A: Using Prompts to Promote Skill Acquisition

Videos and Training

ACE offers a variety of videos and trainings to meet the needs of both family members and professionals.

The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Toddler Initiative will develop new materials and modify existing processes to support the use of evidence-based practices for young children (birth-3) and for their families.

Virginia's Training and Technical Assistance Centers provide quality training and technical assistance in response to local, regional, and state needs. T/TAC services increase the capacity of schools, school personnel, service providers, and families to meet the needs of children and youth. The regional T/TAC's provide consultations, newsletters, resources, planning, presentations, workshops and trainings, as well as, referrals to other services..

Autism Internet Modules has an online training module regarding evidence-based practices.

Autism Training Solutions has a large amount of resources for evidence-based curriculum, including a video library, for service providers, schools, and universities.

Research and Articles

de Bruin, C.L., Deppeler, J.M., Moore, D.W., & Diamond, N.T. (2013). Public school-based interventions for adolescents and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 83(4), 521-550.

Dunlap, G., Carr, E.G., Horner, R. H., Koegel, R.L., Sailor, W. Clarke, S., et al. (2010). A descriptive multiyear examination of positive behavior support. Behavioral Disorders, 35(4), 259-279.

Mesibov, G.B., & Shea, V. (2011). Evidence-based practices and autism. Autism, 15(1), 114-133.

Odom, S.L., Boyd, B.A., Hall, L.J., & Hume, K.J. (2010). Evaluation of comprehensive treatment models for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(4), 425-36.

Odom, S., Collet-Klingenberg, L., Rogers, S.J., & Hatton, D.D. (2010). Evidence-based practices in interventions for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders. Preventing School Failure, 54(4), 275-82.

Reichow, B. & Volkmar, F.R. (2010). Social skills interventions for individuals with autism: Evaluation for Evidence-Based Practices within a best evidence synthesis framework. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 149-166.