Best Practices for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Resource Guide for Community Partners
Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) present a unique challenge, and learning opportunity for professionals. The purpose of this study was to create a comprehensive and accessible handbook to empower those who work with children and youth with ASD in a community setting. The best practices and effective intervention programs for students with ASD were researched and evaluated. Four individuals from various community agencies voluntarily participated in a Needs Assessment Questionnaire and, based on their information, a Handbook on Best Practices for Children with ASD, including a resource section was created. The theoretical framework examined for this project was based on social-cognitive theory, specifically Bandura's (1986) theory of triadic reciprocity and reciprocal determinism. This theory places emphasis on the fact that behaviour must be evaluated in the course of normal development, and that what may be appropriate for an individual at one age or point in time, may not be at another. Once the handbook was complete, an Evaluative Questionnaire was circulated to determine its effectiveness and overall benefits in practice for community partners in the field. The results of this questionnaire contributed to a final copy of the handbook. Implications for future research were considered and the limitations of this study were examined.