When providing services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is important to consider what interventions will be the least intrusive, most appropriate, and most effective.

We should also be providing the highest quality services possible that maintain respect and dignity for the individual that we are working with as well as their families.

To provide the best interventions for children with ASD, it is necessary to refer to the scientific literature to determine what strategies are found to be evidence-based practices. Additionally, we, as practitioners/service providers, must remain current with the research so that we don’t get stuck in outdated intervention strategies. Of course, some techniques may be somewhat timeless and may be justified to include in treatment for a long time. However, science is continually progressing and new discoveries are often being made.

With that being said, the National Standards Project was completed in 2015 by the National Autism Center. This report reviewed the scientific literature for evidence of the effectiveness (or lack thereof) for various autism treatments. Click the link to get a copy of the report for free for further information about the interventions.

Listed below are the 14 most effective treatments, based on the National Standards Project report, for interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder.

This is an incredibly useful list for those of us who are providing services to individuals with ASD as well as for parents who would like to know the interventions which have the most support for their effectiveness.

In future posts, I will discuss each intervention individually.

  1. Behavioral Interventions
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Intervention Package
  3. Comprehensive Behavioral Treatment for Young Children
  4. Language Training (Production)
  5. Modeling
  6. Naturalistic Teaching Strategies
  7. Parent Training Package
  8. Peer Training Package
  9. Pivotal Response Treatment
  10. Schedules
  11. Scripting
  12. Self-Management
  13. Social Skills Package
  14. Story-Based Interventions

The National Standards Project also provides information on 18 Emerging Interventions (which have some evidence of their effectiveness but not yet enough to confidently state that they are effective) and 13 Unestablished Interventions (which do not have any quality evidence of their effectiveness). See the NSP for these two lists and more information, as well.

If you provide services to children with ASD, it is highly recommended that you be familiar with the NSP report.

References: Image Credit: lordn via Fotalia National Standards Project (2015). National Autism Center.