Examining Evidence-Based Practice in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Review of NPDC's New Findings

Those of you who follow my Facebook Fan Page may have seen my update that the National Professional Development Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders came out this week with an updated report on evidence-based practice for individuals with ASD.  As promised, I wanted to take a few posts to talk about the outcomes of their review.

I wrote about evidence-based practice and some of the difficulties with determining what is an evidence-based practice in ASD in this post.  If you aren't familiar with the NPDC for ASD, I highly recommend their site for information and tools.  Last week they published a new review of the evidence on educational interventions for students with ASD.  They focused only on educational approaches, so it does not include medical approaches.  They reviewed the evidence overall in 2010 and now they have re-reviewed a larger set of literature with more stringent standards.  The change in the standards and the inclusion of a longer time period in the review means that some things were added as evidence-based practices (EBP) and some that were classified as EBP were not longer considered EBPs.  They also combined and reorganized some of the categories.


I highly recommend that you download and read the report, but I'm going to spend the next few posts summarizing the results and talking a little about them.  They did a great job of being transparent with how they reviewed articles.  I had a great opportunity to participate in that process (and get CEUs for my BCBA-D) and I really liked the system they used.  So, I'm very excited that they have also published the tools they used to review so I can now use it with my graduate students in teaching them how to review research.

So to kick us off, let's look at the changes that came out of the report.  The following practices were ADDED as evidence-based practice because more evidence accumulated over the extended time period or since the 2010 review.  (I'll write more about the dates of research that was reviewed for the different reports in another post).  I've linked the categories to posts I have done related to them in the past.

Two categories were combined into the Technology-Aided Instruction and Intervention category:  Speech Generating Devices and Computer-assisted instruction.

And finally, Structured Work Systems were the lone category that were not included in the 2014 report as an EBP but were in the 2010.  The reason for that was the criteria was stricter in the new report and, while there is emerging evidence of the effectiveness of work systems, the scope of that work is still limited and didn't meet the new criteria.  We all know how much I like them, though, so I will be talking about what we know and need in this category.

To see all the interventions found to be EBP in the new report, check out the new report and the fact sheets for each of them.  In the next few posts I will talk about the added categories, what they are and what the research says.  So, what would you like me to cover about evidence-based practice in autism? Share in the comments and I will do my best to address those issues.

Until next time,




8 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting about this article! I've opened it and look forward to reading the findings. I'm also looking forward to reading your take on these findings and how you incorporate them into your work :)

    Rae
    Mindful Rambles

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    1. Thanks Rae! I'm never sure about these types of posts because they are drier than more hands-on material, but I think they can be helpful to busy teachers. I'm glad to know it's helpful!
      Chris

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  2. Structured play for us early childhood people would be most helpful!

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  3. Great info! I look forward to the upcoming posts!

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it--it always seems like it's too dry for a blog when I talk about research, but tools to help it be consumed seems important. Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Look forward to having the time to read it all and hear your take on the report.

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    1. Thank you for letting me know! I really appreciate it.

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