Disseminating Information on Evidence-Based Practices for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder: AFIRM

Abstract

Comprehensive reviews of the research literature have identified that focused intervention practices for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder have evidence of producing positive developmental and learning outcomes. The Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules (AFIRM) project has translated evidence-based practices identified by Wong et al. (Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 45(7):1951–1966, 2015) into online learning modules. The purpose of this paper is to describe (1) the process for translating the research literature into practical information that practitioners can use, (2) its dissemination through a freely accessible website, (3) the use of the modules by over 64,500 users located in the United States and abroad, (4) knowledge gained as a result of completing the modules, and (5) consumers’ evaluations of modules usefulness and relevance.

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Funding

The work in this article was supported by a subcontract from Grant No. H325E170001, a project funded by the Office of Special Education Programs. Additional support for the development of the AFIRM work came from Grants R324A150047, R324A170028, and R324B160038 funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. Both funding entities are part of the U. S. Department of Education, but the contents of this article do not necessarily reflect or represent the policy of that department. We also acknowledge the outstanding support provided by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute web design team members, Jeff Alpi and Andrea Ross. Also, we wish to thank our colleagues from the Ohio Center on Autism and Low Incidence Disorders who were partners in the development of an earlier version of online modules from the first NPDC review.

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Contributions

SLO, AWC, and AMS conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and drafted the manuscript. MNS performed statistical analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript. VW participated in the coordination of the study, performed statistical analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ann M. Sam.

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Dr. Ann Sam, Dr. Ann Cox, Dr. Melissa Savage, Ms. Victoria Waters, Dr. Samuel Odom declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Sam, A.M., Cox, A.W., Savage, M.N. et al. Disseminating Information on Evidence-Based Practices for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder: AFIRM. J Autism Dev Disord 50, 1931–1940 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-03945-x

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Keywords

  • Evidence-based practice
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Children
  • Youth