The study took place in 65 public schools from the states of Oregon and Washington.
Demographic characteristics of the analytic sample were not provided. Based on the initial randomized sample, students in the intervention group 81.5% were male, 55.6% were non-Hispanic White, 11.8% were Hispanic, 11.2% were Asian or other Pacific Islander, 7.3% were African American, and 0.6% were American Indian or Alaskan Native. Students in the randomized comparison sample were 78.2% were male, 60.5% were non-Hispanic White, 9.7% were Hispanic, 8.9% were Asian or other Pacific Islander, 8.1% were African American, and 0.8% were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
The Comprehensive Autism Program (CAP) includes using a comprehensive set of practices that the authors considered evidence-based practices. This includes a specific set of environmental and visual supports across multiple environments over the course of each day. Behavioral strategies, pivotal response and discrete trial training were also used each day throughout the course of the day and for 15 minutes during individualized instruction. In addition, teachers used Applied Behavior Analysis, Floor time, preacademic instruction, picture communication systems, social skills training, and TEACCH work systems.
Outside of school, families could receive home visits and consultations.
The business-as-usual condition included Applied Behavior Analysis, discrete trial training, direct instruction, environmental arrangement, Floor time, Picture Exchange Communication System, pivotal response training, social skills training, TEACCH work systems, and visual supports.
Support for implementation
Intervention teachers participated in an initial 2-day training and also received coaching up to eight times each month. The training and coaching covered the intervention components noted above and used the Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research (STAR) curriculum. In addition, parents of students in the intervention condition participated in two trainings, for 2 hours each, covering such topics as environmental arrangements, visual supports, behavioral strategies, and pivotal response training.