Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)

  • Ilene Sharon Schwartz
  • Bonnie McBride
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_616-3



Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) refers to providing intervention in a manner that is individually appropriate and culturally relevant for the learner. This term was first introduced by Sue Bredekamp and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1987 to warn early educators against the trend of pushing typically developing or gifted children too far too fast, or what some developmental psychologists referred to as “robbing children of their childhood” with deleterious effects that may not show up until adolescence or later. It also has important implications for working with students who have cognitive deficits so that families and interventionists interact with people in a manner that is age appropriate and provide opportunities to people that are both age appropriate and...

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References and Reading

  1. Carr, E. G. (2007). The expanding vision of positive behavior support: Research perspectives on happiness, helpfulness, hopefulness. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 9, 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice (in early childhood programs, serving children from birth through age 8). Washington, DC: NAEYC.Google Scholar
  3. Schwartz, I. S., & McBride, B. (2014). Getting a good start: Effective practices in early intervention. In K. D. Burton & P. Wolfberg (Eds.), Educating learners on the autism Spectrum: Preparing highly qualified educators and related practitioners (2nd ed., pp. 82–105). Kansas City: Autism Asperger Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  4. Schwartz, I. S., Ashmun, J., McBride, B., Scott, C., & Sandall, S. (2017). The project DATA model for teaching preschoolers with autism. Baltimore: Brookes.Google Scholar
  5. Schwartz, I. S., Sandall, S. R., McBride, B. J., & Boulware, G. L. (2004). Project DATA (developmentally appropriate treatment for autism): An inclusive, school-based approach to educating children with autism. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 24, 156–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Haring Center for Applied Research and Training in EducationUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Intervention Services for AutismUniversity of Oklahoma College of MedicineOklahoma CityUSA