What are the evidence-based interventions?

Many interventions exist for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The interventions that researchers have shown to be effective are called evidence-based practices (EBPs). The number and exact names of the EBPs vary slightly according the team that assembles its respective list.  Their are six such lists prominent in the nationwide community of practitioners. These six lists are detailed on our EBP overview webpage.

The Missouri Department of Mental Health, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Thompson Center, and Project ACCESS collaborated on the creation of a Missouri-based list that synthesized these six prominent lists into a Missouri guide to the EBPs, and documented this work in the Missouri Autism Guideline Initiative (MAGI) project. For more information about free materials you can download from the MAGI website, please visit our page devoted to sharing this MAGI information. The resulting list of EBPs from the MAGI is recapitulated below, with links to explanations and resources.

Project ACCESS believes that high quality teaching involves the use of these scientifically validated EBPs as a foundation of programming for students.

How one goes about selecting an appropriate EBP as an intervention for someone on the autism spectrum is detailed on this page: Selecting an EBP.  You might find it helpful to watch the video to learn about how EBPs are selected before continuing to read more about each EBP.

Below you will find links to the MAGI listed EBPs.  Each link directs you to a page that contains information about that EBP.  Each of these pages will contain the following information about that EBP:

  1. All EBPs link to a short video produced by Project ACCESS that provides the MAGI definition, a description of the EBP, the age level or population that might benefit from the EBP, and the goal areas for which this particular EBP has been shown to produce positive outcomes.
  2. Fourteen EBPs will link to a Project ACCESS information sheet that is written in family-friendly language.  
  3. All EBPs link to a short online video that shows or explains in more detail and in simple language. These are sourced from various authoritative providers.
  4. Fourteen EBPs have a link to a brief about the EBP. These are produced by the AFIRM* team. 
  5. Fourteen EBPs have links to online tutorials about implementing that EBP.  These are produced by the AFIRM* team as well.

*The AFIRM team refers to the Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules team, which is an extension of the National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on ASD. Visit the NPDC website for more information about AFIRM. Please note that in order to access the material listed as items four and five above you will need to create a free account at the National Professional Development Center website.

MAGI Evidence Based Autism Interventions:

Comprehensive Interventions: Programs or sets of procedures that address a broad array of skills or behaviors.

Focused Interventions: Individual strategies used alone or in combination to address a specific skill or behavior.