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Diagnosis and Early Intervention

produced April 2005

Success in School

produced May 2005

Program Information | Characteristics of Autism | Screening Questions | Effective Intervention | Resources

Elements of Effective Autism Programs

This list of common characteristics of effective programs for children with autism arose from a study conducted to ascertain commonalities and differences in program practices among nationally known, validated educational programs for young children with autism spectrum disorders. The list includes elements found in all of the programs as well as elements considered important by some but not all programs.

Areas of agreement:

  1. earliest possible start to intervention
  2. individualization of services for children and families
  3. systematic, planful teaching
  4. specialized curriculum
  5. intensity of engagement
  6. family involvement

Program areas that are part of some, but not all, programs:

  1. structured environment
  2. developmentally appropriate practices
  3. intervention in settings with typical children

Source: Hurth, Joicey; Shaw, Evelyn; Izeman, Susan; Whaley, Kathy; and Rogers, Sally. “Areas of Agreement About Effective Practices Among Programs Serving Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” Infants and Young Children (1999), pp. 17-26. Aspen Publishers, Inc. ERIC: EJ599217. Available from the National Early Childhood Technical Education Center (reprint), $3.00. This journal reprint examines the commonalities and differences among nationally known critical program practices.

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