National Autism Center National Standards Report

September 30, 2009

The National Autism Center has released its National Standards Report, the most comprehensive analysis of treatments for children and adolescents with ASD ever published.

The National Autism Center is disseminating the results of the National Standards Project in order to provide families and professionals with better tools to make treatment decisions to meet the needs of individuals with ASD in their care.

The report is the culmination of the National Standards Project, a multi-year project that began with more than 7,000 research abstracts about autism treatments and concluded with a comprehensive National Standards Report. Forty-five nationally recognized scholars, researchers, experts in autism, and other leaders representing diverse fields of study were involved in the project.

The report includes, among other findings, 11 “established” treatments are known to be effective for individuals (under 22) on the autism spectrum. The report also identifies 22 “emerging” treatments that have some evidence of effectiveness, but still require additional research, and five “unestablished” treatments that have little or no evidence of effectiveness.

Nearly 90% of the established treatments came from behavioral literature (i.e. applied behavior analysis, behavioral psychology, and positive behavior support) but for the first time identifies strategies emanating from other perspectives as well. The report also identifies limitations of the existing autism treatment research and encourages the scientific community to more aggressively pursue targeted treatment research.

Information about the National Standards Project is available through