A Review of School-Based Instructional Interventions for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders


This review evaluates school-based instructional research for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Electronic database searches identified 45 studies (n = 118 participants) published between 1995 and 2005. These studies were classified into five curricular areas: (a) academic skills, (b) communication skills, (c) functional life skills, (d) play, and (e) social skills. The results of the reviewed studies indicated effective instructional methods and several trends across curricular areas. Less than half of the studies (n = 20) assessed the generalization of skills to different settings and stimuli. A minority of the studies (n = 19) assessed the maintenance of skills. Very few studies reported student characteristics, such as cultural background. Additionally, many studies did not address the social validity of instructional interventions or used inadequate procedures to judge the perceptions of stakeholders. In light of these findings, several relevant areas for future research are proposed.


Machalicek, W., O’Reilly, M. F., Beretvas, N., Sigafoos, J., Lancioni, G., Sorrells, A., . . . Rispoli, M. (2008). A review of school-based instructional interventions for students with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2, 395–416.