The Review of All Available Adult Intervention Outcome Literature.
NSP2 is the only systemic review of ASD interventions for individuals from birth through adulthood based on all the available intervention outcome literature published through February of 2012.
Overwhelming amounts of information exist about autism treatments. In order to provide accurate information to individuals and families making intervention decisions, we must first determine what information is reliable and based on rigorous scientific research, and what is not.
Phase 2 utilized tools and evaluation strategies designed by the original expert panel. These included the Scientific Merit Rating Scale (SMRS), the Intervention Effects Ratings, and the Strength of Evidence Classification System. All three systems allow for critical and detailed analyses of how the research was conducted and the impact on participants. Because our methodology is transparent, it also allows for ongoing review and improvements in the scientific community.
Number of Studies Reviewed.
By combining the results of NSP1 and NSP2, we have produced the largest compilation of studies ever reviewed. The review provides the cumulative number of studies to support each one of the interventions identified. It is important to note that more studies were published in the few years covered by the NSP2 than in any previous similar timespan.
Our Expert Panel.
The National Autism Center has been unique in its collaboration with professionals. Throughout NSP1 and NSP2, our expert panel has guided the process and been involved in all decisions related to the findings.
A Greater Emphasis on Evidence-based Interventions Within the Larger Framework of Evidence-based Practice.
Although the main focus of NSP1 and NSP2 is to identify interventions that have the most research support, it is not the only focus. We must emphasize equally other key factors related to evidence-based practice that are essential to success.
Evidence-based practice includes the use of professional judgment, consideration of client and family values and preferences, and knowledge and understanding of the best research evidence. There is no longer any question about what works for individuals with ASD; scientific evidence identifies effective interventions. It is now necessary to understand how to best apply these interventions in real-world settings.
Note: The NSP2 expert panelists agreed to adapt the term “intervention” as opposed to “treatment” or “strategy.” Therefore, the results of NSP2 will discuss evidence-based interventions that should be used to inform a clinician’s evidence-based practice. This terminology may differ from others doing similar research, but we believe this is an important distinction — so parents and professionals understand the difference between an evidence-based intervention and the larger framework of evidence-based practice.