Evidence Based Practices & Autism Spectrum Disorder

According to The Center for Disease Control, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Early intervention using Evidence Based Practices (EBP's) is essential in teaching social, communication and behavioral skills.

Imperial County SELPA is dedicated to supporting our schools and parents in the implementation of evidence based practices throughout Imperial County. We are supported by California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN). CAPTAIN is a multiagency network developed to support the understanding and use of Evidence Based Practices for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder across the State.

The National Professional Developmental Center for Autism explains that many interventions exist for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Yet, scientific research has found only some of these interventions to be effective. The interventions that researchers have shown to be effective are called evidence-based practices (EBPs). One reason for using EBPs is because, by law, teaching practices must be based on evidence of effectiveness.

In 2014, 27 evidence-based practices were identified by the National Professional Developmental Center for Autism. The following links will take you to a description and learning modules that can be accessed free of charge through the Autism Focused Intervention and Resources Modules (AFIRM).

The  National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence & Practice released a new report titled “2020 NCAEP Evidence-Based Practices Report”.  The report includes literature published from 2012-2017 and the findings are combined with the literature from the previous review from 1990-2011. Five new practices have been identified. Several re-conceptualizations and re-categorizations of practices have been made. New data related to the study participants such as race, ethnicity and nationality  as well as new information about intervention implementation is presented. In 2020,

Affirm is currently working on updating the modules available. Links will be provided when they become available. 

Upcoming Modules:

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Behavioral Momentum Intervention
  • Direct Instruction
  • Music-Mediated Intervention
  • Sensory Integration

Practices that will be integrated into other evidence-based practices:

  • Picture Exchange Communication → Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Pivotal Response Training → Naturalistic Intervention
  • Scripting → Visual Supports
  • Structured Play Groups → Peer Based Instruction and Intervention

Transitioning Back to School: Strategies to Support Students with Autism 


Transición de regreso a la escuela: estrategias para apoyar a los estudiantes con autismo 


Differential Reinforcement (DR)

Previously Differential Reinforcement of Alternative, Incompatible, or Other Behavior

Social Skills Training (SST)

Previously Social Skills Groups