Department for Education and Skills/Department of Health Good Practice Guidance on the education of children with autistic spectrum disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Colleges, School and Institutes


Currently, it is held by many that educational interventions are those most likely to make a significant difference to the prognosis and well-being of a child with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Yet, decision making about educational interventions and provision in ASD is often based on beliefs, tradition and assumptions, rather than on empirical evidence. This can lead to inappropriate or ineffective provision and can cause confusion and conflict between and within professional groups and parents. Little rigorous research evidence exists to guide decisions for children with ASD. This is true for educational practice generally, and for children with other special educational needs. Practitioners and parents alike are keen for good information on how best to educate children with ASD. It was against this background that the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and Department of Health (DoH) convened a working group of experienced practitioners and parents to produce the 'Good Practice Guidance on ASDs'. This paper explores the need for the DfES/DoH Guidance, describes its structure and content and then suggests why research evidence is sparse and how future research might be enhanced to inform practice.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-552
Number of pages10
JournalChild: Care, Health & Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006