Special Services Update


Evidence Based Practices for Students with Autism, continued

In the last two newsletters I shared 27 (27!) evidence based practices for students with autism. I am sure many of these practices are familiar to you and are used every day in your classrooms. But some of your practices may have been missing from the list.

The same review by Wong et al. identified as having some empirical support, but not enough to meet the standards of the study. Some of the practices came close, and appear to have building empirical evidence, and may be identified as an evidence based practice in the coming years. These include

1. behavioral momentum interventions: organization of behavioral expectations in a sequence in which low probability behaviors are embedded in a series of high probability behaviors to increase the occurrence of low probability behaviors

2. direct instruction: instructional package involving student choral responses, correction procedures, modeling correct responses, etc.

3.independent work systems: instructional process that includes visually and spatially organized location, previously mastered work, clear specification of the task, signal when work is finished, and instructions for the next activity

4.joint attention and symbolic play instruction: a combination of discrete trial training and natural instruction used to promote joint attention and symbolic play

5. music therapy: songs and music used as a medium through which a student's goals may be addressd

6. reciprocal imitation training: teacher repeats the actions, vocalizations, or other behaviors of the student to promote student's imitation and other goals.

There were other practices that had very little empirical evidence to support it, which I will discuss next week.

Jennifer F. Connolly, Ph.D

Director of Special Services