This review-specific protocol guides the review of research that informs the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) intervention reports in the Children and Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder topic area. The review-specific protocol is used in conjunction with the WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook (version 3.0).
This review focuses on interventions designed for use with children and students ages 18 months to 21 years old with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The review examines the effect of interventions on the following types of outcomes: academic, communication/language competencies, problem behaviors, school engagement, self-care/daily living, self-determination, social-emotional, and transitional (i.e., the behavioral, social, and functional skills that enable young adults with disabilities to obtain and hold meaningful employment, live independently, and obtain further training and education). Interventions must be implemented in authentic education settings.
The following research questions guide this review:
- Which interventions are effective at improving outcomes for children and students classified with an ASD? Are some interventions more effective than others for children and students classified with an ASD?
- Does the effectiveness of interventions for children with an ASD vary by type of outcome?
- Are some interventions more effective for particular subgroups of children and students with an ASD (for example, different levels of ASD severity, co-morbidity with other disabilities, age groups, English learner status, gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and school level) or in particular settings?