90 researchers,  clinicians,and advocates attended the  SIG meeting on May 16th, 2014 held during the International Meeting for Autism Research in Atlanta, USA.


  • Early intervention is a broad concept often concerned with delivery of structured and evidence-informed treatment, in a contextually appropriate manner for the child, their family and their community on the whole.
  • Any autism intervention model of specific packages constitutes only one component of a more comprehensive care plan that evaluates and addresses the child’s overall health and well-being.
  • Most evidence-based intervention packages for autism that target the core symptoms of condition by promoting social communication, engagement, and learning have been developed and some of them have been rigorously evaluated in research.
  • Despite differences in evidence-based models, common elements include the following: intervention packages are not static, but continue to evolve over time to reflect available evidence; they directly involve and empower caregivers and other supportive members in the community; their goals respond to needs identified by and/or agreed with the family; they include systematic observation and data collection which allow tailoring of treatments according to the child’s needs.
  • Despite progress in research, knowledge translation and implementation of evidence-based models within community-based setting remains challenging in most world communities. There are currently wide knowledge gaps that need to be addressed in future research including scalability and cost-effectiveness of available interventions, and the extent to which can be integrated within existing health and social support systems. 


INSAR Global Special Interest Group on Early Identification and Intervention for Autism (2014). To Intervene or not to Intervene that is not the Question: Effective and ethically sound application of evidence-based intervention models, 2014 Report. Download

Listen to the full session (1 hour 90 minutes)


Special thanks to the expert panel

Geraldine Dawson, Duke University

Jonathan Green, University of Manchester

Connie Kasari, UCLA

Helen McConachie, University of Newcastle

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