National Autism Center: Standards Project – Report
About the National Standards Project
This report provides comprehensive information about the level of scientific evidence that exists in support of the many educational and behavioral treatments currently available for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007), approximately one in every 150 children has an ASD. As the number of children diagnosed with ASD continues to skyrocket, so do the number of treatment options. Families, educators, and service providers must sift through a massive amount of confusing and often conflicting information about the myriad treatments available. This reality makes treatment selection complicated. Uncertainty about the level of research support associated with different treatments makes the process even more difficult. To make the most informed choices, decision makers must be able to determine which treatments have evidence of effectiveness.
The best way to determine if a particular treatment is effective is to look at research that has been conducted. There are a multitude of behavioral or educational treatments currently available for ASD. These interventions differ dramatically in terms of the quantity, quality, and consistency of research studies specific to the ASD population.
In summary, the National Standards Project, a primary initiative of the National Autism Center, seeks to:
- provide the strength of evidence supporting educational and behavioral treatments that target the core characteristics of these neurological disorders
- describe the age, diagnosis, and skills/behaviors targeted for improvement associated with treatment options
- identify the limitations of the current body of research on autism treatment
- offer recommendations for engaging in evidence-based practice for ASD