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"Families have waited a long time for something like the National Standards Project, which will provide direction for parents and educators so they can be confident in their decisions, and not waste valuable time and money on unproven treatments."
—Lisa Borges
Executive Director, The Doug Flutie, Jr.
Foundation for Autism, Inc.

National Standards Project

NEW! In the Fall of 2014, the National Autism Center will release a review and analysis of treatments for ASD based on research conducted in the field from 2007 to 2012. This will provide an update to the current empirical treatment literature (as published in the National Standards Report in 2009) and will include studies evaluating treatments for adults (22+), which have never been systematically evaluated before now.


During the past five years, the National Autism Center has been pleased to share the results of the National Standards Project to hundreds of thousands of individuals through the publication of the National Standards Report. Click here to see the results.

Susan M. Wilczynski, Ph.D., BCBA-D, former Executive Director of the National Autism Center, comments on the National Standards Project.

The National Standards Project answers one of the most pressing public health questions of our time — how do we effectively treat individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

The National Autism Center launched the project in 2005 with the support and guidance of an expert panel composed of nationally recognized scholars, researchers, and other leaders representing diverse fields of study. The culmination of this rigorous multi-year project is the National Standards Report, the most comprehensive analysis available to date about treatments for children and adolescents with ASD.

Families, educators, and service providers are constantly bombarded by a massive amount of confusing and often conflicting information about the myriad treatments available. The National Standards Report is helping to reduce the resulting turmoil and uncertainty by addressing the need for evidence-based practice standards and providing guidelines for how to make treatment choices.

The primary goal of the National Standards Project is to provide critical information about which treatments have been shown to be effective for individuals with ASD. The project examined and quantified the level of research supporting interventions that target the core characteristics of ASD in children, adolescents, and young adults (below 22 years of age) on the autism spectrum.

This groundbreaking report covers a broad range of applied treatments and identifies the level of scientific evidence available for each. It includes 775 research studies – the largest number of studies ever reviewed. For the first time, families can find specific information about the age groups, treatment targets, and diagnostic populations to which these treatments have been applied.

The National Standards Report serves as a single, authoritative source of guidance for parents, caregivers, educators, and service providers as they make informed treatment decisions. We are confident that these findings and recommendations will change lives and give hope and direction to people whose lives are touched by autism.