Trajectories of Evidence Based Treatment for School Children with Autism: What’s the Right Level for the Implementation?

  • Victor LushinEmail author
  • David Mandell
  • Rinad Beidas
  • Steven Marcus
  • Heather Nuske
  • Victor Kaploun
  • Max Seidman
  • Daphney Gaston
  • Jill Locke
Original Paper


Evidence-based practices (EBP) for children with autism are under-used in special-education schools. No research compared child-level versus teacher-level influences on EBP use, which could guide implementation strategies. We derived longitudinal profiles of EBP receipt by children (N = 234) in 69 autism-support classrooms, over an academic year. We compared overall impacts of child-level and teacher-level factors on profile membership. Most children received little EBP throughout the year; however substantial subgroups received increasing, and decreasing, doses of EBP. Child-level and teacher-level factors contributed about equally to profile membership. Children’s autism symptoms and verbal ability, teachers’ EBP skills, training/experience, classroom support, class size, and implementation leadership climate predicted profile membership. Early identification of treatment profiles could facilitate targeted implementation strategies increasing EBP use.


Autism Evidence based practices Special education 



The project providing data for this study was funded by NIMH (Grant Number R01 MH106175 04). The PI is author, David Mandell, ScD. Victor Lushin, Ph.D., worked on this manuscript while supported by NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, T32-MH109433-01A1.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Long Island UniversityBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.National Research University Higher School of EconomicsSt. PetersburgRussia
  4. 4.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Long Island University Brooklyn, School of Health ProfessionsBrooklynUSA

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