In this edition, we’ll continue to explore sessions from the Communities of Leaders in Autism (CoLA) Summer Institute. This month’s presentations cover EBPs, or evidence-based practices!
Sue Palko, Region 1 Autism Program Coordinator, and Karen Berlin, Training and Technical Assistance Center at George Mason University, presented Smart Shop: Identifying the Evidence-Based Practice in Commonly Used Curriculum. This presentation reviewed the importance of relying on scientific behavior knowledge and evidence-based practices when selecting and using curricula for instruction of learners with autism spectrum disorders and examined available tools to help educators determine if commercial products and curriculum are a “right fit” for their students. While no ASD specific tool for this purpose has yet been developed, school division leadership and educators can use the following tools to inform and guide their selection and decision making processes:
Hexagon Tool: The Hexagon Tool helps states, divisions, and schools systematically evaluate new and existing interventions via six broad factors: needs, fit, resource availability, evidence, readiness for replication, and capacity to implement.
Selection of Evidence Based Practices Tool: This Virginia Tiered Systems of Support selection tool provides guiding questions to help stakeholders determine if an intervention will be a “right fit” for its intended purpose within a division or school.
Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence, (VCU-ACE): Based on the skill competencies for professionals supporting individuals with ASD across the lifespan, this website provides on-line training, resources, and links to training information on EBPs listed by NPDC (below) and the National Autism Center.
National Professional Center for ASD: This website maintains resources and information on specific evidence-based practices for ASD and provides free access to AFIRM online modules and resources for each of the 27 EBPs.
National Autism Center: This website houses the “National Standards Project” report which provides qualitative analysis and guidance about which interventions have been shown to be effective for individuals with ASD.
Autism Internet Modules: This website provides 45 free on-line training modules on evidence based practices for learners with ASD.
Other web-based resources to guide an educator’s selection of academic instructional resources and curriculum: