Autism Landing Pad

The prevalence of children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has increased dramatically in recent years. With these increases come the companion need to identify high quality, evidence-based resources for administrators, practitioners, and families. This landing pad highlights research, policies, and position statements (Why Do It?), print materials (Read All About It), videos and DVDs (See for Yourself), and Web resources (Find It Online) to support those efforts. Featured resources are high-quality, readily available, and no-cost or low-cost. A special section (Virginia Guidance) features Web sites, organizations, and other state-specific resources.

Why Do It?

Evidence-Based Practice Briefs

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders has identified 24 evidence-based practices for children and youth with ASD. For each practice, the Center's Web site offers a brief that provides a general description of the practice and how it can be used with learners with ASD, step-by-step directions for implementation, an implementation checklist, and a list of references that demonstrate that the practice is effective.

Stansberry-Brusnahan, L, & Collet-Klingenberg, L (2010). Evidence-based practices for young children with autism spectrum disorders: Guidelines and recommendations from the National Resource Council and National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders. International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education, 2(1), 45-56.

The National Research Council has identified goals, areas of need, and basic recommendations for educational programs serving children with autism spectrum disorders. The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders has identified evidence-based practices for early childhood and elementary programming. Highlghting the work produced by these two organizations, this article provide professionals with guidance in setting up educational programs that use effective, research-based interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorders in early childhood special education.

See For Yourself

Autism Internet Modules

The Autism Internet Modules were developed to make comprehensive, up-to-date, and usable information on autism accesible and applicable to educators, other professionals, and families who support individuals with ASD. Written by experts from across the U.S., modules are currently available to download on reinforcement, self-management, pivotal response training, time delay, and visual supports. Each module has a pre- and post-assessment for the content covered, an introductory video, a description of the topic, and information on how to implement the strategy. Case examples, step-by-step instructions, and the evidence-based for the strategy also are included. To access the modules, register for a free account at

Autism Speaks

This Web site features online video clips on a variety of topics related to autism spectrum disorders, including diagnosis, causes, and coping strategies.

Show Me How to Learn

This site is the place to explore a free online video modeling library that addresses daily living, language, motor, play and social skills can be found at this Web site. After signing up, members can watch and share videos and connect with other families and professionals.

Find It Online

Autism Online

Information, books, and other resources on autism in 18 different languages including Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Hebrew are available at this Web site. A portion of the income from purchases from this site is donated to other autism organizations around the world.

Autism Society of America

The Web site for this national organization provides current information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy in both English and Spanish, links to educational resources, and access to the journal Autism Advocate. Members can sign up for a free newsletter. In addition to providing information on autism, there are links to over 200 local autism society chapters which have trainings, social events, and excellent support systems.

Autism Speaks: ASD Video Glossary

This Web site provides information for parents and professionals on the "red flags" that indicate a possible diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Video examples of the behaviors that could indicate characteristics of the disorder and comparisons to typical child development are included.


Children with autism can benefit from visual cues. This Web site includes ready to use picture cards, worksheets and other educationally relevant activities to purchase. The Web site also offers free picture symbols that can be customized and printed for personal use. In addition, the Web site has a link that specifically addresses the creation and use of visual schedules.

Lord, C., & Bishop, S.L. (2010). Autism spectrum disorders: Diagnosis, prevalence, and services for children and families. Social Policy Report, 24(2), 1-21

A summary of selected recent studies on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, prevalence, and intervention is provided in this publication. The authors also include strategies for developing social policies to help improve the outcomes and independence of children and adults with ASDs.

National Autism Center

The National Autism Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting evidence-based practice for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Center promotes best practices, serving as a vital source of information, training and services for families, practition-ers and policy-makers. The Center is the home of the National Standards Project, an efforst that identified research-validated educational and behavioral interventions that effectively target the core symptoms of ASD.

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders is a multi-university center, funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Departent of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, to promote the use of evidence-based practices for children and youth with ASD. Available resources include evidence-based practices for children and youth with ASD. Available resources include evidence-based practices for children and youth with ASD, internet modules, and online course content. Information for states on how to partner with the Center is also available at this site.

Sandbox Learning

This Web site includes child monitoring materials to record behavior and to document progress towards meeting individualized education plan (IEP) goals. Communication skills, academics, social skills, fine motor skills, faily living skills, and behavior skills are covered. The sheets are available online and in Excel so they can be customized to addres each child's IEP goals. A one year subscription costs $29.99.

Read About It

Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Theory to Practice (2009)

Laura J. Hall's text describes current approaches to increasing the skills of learners with autism organized by theoretical perspective. Descriptions of typical development in the areas of communication and social skills can be used as a guide to selecting goals, and quotes from professionals, parents and young adults with ASP provide information from multiple perspectives. This book is available from Pearson Education

Teaching Social Communication to Children with Autism: A Manual for Parents (2010)

This user friendly manual, by Brooke Ingersoll and Anna Dvortcsak, provides information on how to use interactive teaching techniques (follow child's lead, communicative temptations) with a young child with ASD. Based on knowledge of typical child development and the principles of applied behavior analysis, this manual supports an approach that builds the foundational skills needed for successful social-communicative interactions. This resource is available from Guilford Press.

Teaching Social Communication to Children with Autism: A Practitioner's Guide to Parent Training (2010)

Grounded in developmental and behavioral research, the Practitioner's Guide, by Brooke Ingersoll and Anna Dvortcsak, provides step-by-step guidelines for conducting parent training individually or in groups. It takes proven techniques for promoting the social-communication skills of young children with autism (up to age 6) and breaks them into simple yet efective steps so parents can learn how to do them. The DVD, for use in the training sessions, features video clips of parents implementing the techniques with their children, as well as PowerPoint slides. The Practitioner's Guide also features 30 reproducible handouts and forms. This resource is available from Guilford Press.

Maurice, C., Green, G., & Luce, S.C. (1996). Behavioral intervention for young children with autism: A manual for parents and professionals. Austin, TX: Pro-ed

A growing body of research shows that many young children with autism and pervasive developmental disorders can derive significant, lasting, and sometimes dramatic benefits from early intervention based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. This manual, inspired by that research, provides practical information for parents and professionals. It gives the reader concrete information on how to 1) evaluate treatment options and differentiate scientifically validated interventions from fads and "miracle cures"; 2) assess children's skills, needs, and progress objectively and systematically; 3) teach children a wide variety of importat skills, ranging from basics such as listening and looking, to complex language and social skills and 4) determine who is competent to deliver and supervise behavioral intervention.

Topics in Autism Series

Woodbine House has published a number of relevant and practical publications that address different aspects of ASD. Examples of titles in the series include 1) Reaching Out, Joining In: Teaching Social Skills to Young Children with Autism, 2) A Picture's Worth: PECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism, and 3) Teaching Conversation to Children with Autism. The publication Activity Schedules for Children with Autism: teaching Independent Behavior may be of particular interest to families who are interested in fostering independent engagement with toys and activities at a young age. A list of titles and topics is available at

Virginia Guidance

Autism Society of America - Virginia page

The Autism Society of America (ASA) was founded in 1965 by a small group of parents working on a volunteer basis out of their homes. Over the last 35 years, the Society has developed into the leading source of information and referral on autism. Today, over 20,000 members are connected through a working network over 200 chapters in nearly every state. This site is an excellent resource for finding local chapters across Virginia, as well as other resources (e.g., information on advocacy, public policy, waivers, community resources, etc.).

Commonwealth Autism Service

The Commonwealth Autism Services (CAS) mission is to provide leadership in the implementation of a statewide systems of services to maximize the potential and quality of life of each Virginian with autism across the lifespan. CAS offers information and referral, consultation, and training opportunities.

Communities of Practice in Autism (CoPA)

The Communities of Practice in Autism (CoPA) share knowledge and information about evidence-based strategies in natural environments, focusing on infants, toddlers, and young children diagnosed or suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families, to enhance supports and services in the Commonwealth of Virginia. the CoPA Web site is a rich resource, highlighting activities across Virginia. It also provides resources and information, including PowerPoints and handouts from CoPA conference presentations on topics related to autism.

Creating Connections 2008

Resources from conferences are available online. Those related to autism include: New Autism Screening Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics -Colleen Kraft, M.D. Autism Spectrum Disorders: Strategies for Early Identification and Behavioral Indicators in Young Children -Stacy Shumway and Audrey Thurm

Creating Connections 2007

Resources from conference sessions are available online. Those related to autism include: The DIRĀ© Foundation for the Future: Strengthening Developmental Capacities, Integrating Individual Differences, and Using Relationships as the Vehicle for Learning and Emotional Development -Serena Wieder

Building Capacity for Serving Infants and Toddlers Suspected of Having Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) -Adrienne Frank and Beth Pruitt

T/TAC Online/Autism Resources Page

This site highlights an array of online resources related to autism spectrum disorder. Each entry includes a description of the resource and a "hot" URL to make connecting as easy as possible.

Virginia Autism Council

The Virginia Autism Council is a state-supported council of autism experts seeking to define needed skill competencies and to advance higher education, training and educational opportunities for personnel and caregivers supporting individuals of all ages with autism. The Council's Web site is a clearinghouse on best practices and research-based education and training opportunities to advance personnel development and knowledge regarding autism in Virginia. Listings range from competencies and professional development opportunities to support groups.

Virginia Autism Resource Center

The Virginia Autism Resource Center (VARD) at Virginia Commonwealth University is a statewide center dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families. Through research, outreach and collaborative initiatives, VARC promotes and facilitates best practices for those diagnosed within the autism spectrum. Information, resources, and professional development help parents, educators, service providers and medical professionals provide effective support from early childhood through adulthood. 1-877-667-7771

Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center

Virginia Commonwealth University
Partnership for People with Disabilities

Integrated Training Collaborative
Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia
Partnership for People with Disabilities

This professional development activity is supported by the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC), with funding support from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Copyright © 2011