What are evidence-based practices?

written by FCPG on November 19, 2018 in Research with no comments

There are multiple interventions out there being used to treat autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This can make it tough to choose the best one for your child. Interventions that have been vigorously studied and recognized as effective treatments in peer-reviewed scientific journals are known as Evidence-Based Practices, or EBPs. EBP’s are critical to ensure that the interventions we are using are both safe and effective, meaning there will be significant improvements in the targeted areas. Although there are over twenty five EBP’s in Canada, currently there are also a multitude of non-evidence based treatments available out there. This can be confusing to say the least. At Family Centred Practices Group (link) we use only current, evidence-based interventions derived from research in applied behaviour analysis (ABA).

Examples of Evidence-Based Practices:

There are currently 27 recognized EBP’s in Canada (according to the NPDC, 2018). Here is a list of some of the evidence-based practices available in Canada:

  1. Prompting
  2. Reinforcement
  3. Task analysis and chaining
  4. Discrete trial training (DTT)
  5. Naturalistic Developmental Behavioural Interventions
  6. Peer-mediated instruction/intervention (PMII)
  7. Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  8. Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
  9. Functional behaviour assessment (FBA)
  10. Functional Communication Training (FCT)
  11. Extinction
  12. Differential Reinforcement
  13. Social Skills training groups
  14. Video modeling
  15. Visual supports
  16. Speech Generating Devices (SGD)

It is important to note that these practices are utilized in effective ABA-based intervention programs like those offered by Family Centred Practices Group.

Examples of non-evidence based treatments:

Below is a list of some available treatments that do not have any support for the treatment of individuals with ASD and can be dangerous when implemented. Note: this list is not comprehensive

Biomedical approaches:

  1. Changes in nutrition, including diet and vitamins
  2. Vaccine refusal
  3. Secretin injections
  4. Chelation therapy: administer chemicals to bind to heavy metals
  5. Lupron therapy: testosterone-inhibiting drug
  6. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Animal therapy approaches:

  1. Dolphin-assisted therapy
  2. Therapeutic horseback riding
  3. Pet therapy

Facilitated communication:

  • the facilitator physically prompts the student to write or type messages


What does this mean for you and your child?

When choosing an intervention for your child, you must be cautious of treatments that sound too good to be true, offer quick fixes, or are just simply lacking scientific support. Using a non-evidence based treatment is likely to waste both precious intervention time and funding, as well as can be dangerous to your child’s health and safety. By working with the Board Certified Behaviour Analysts at FCPG, your child’s intervention program will always be based on up to date research and EBPs to ensure a safe and effective program.


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Family Centred Practices Group designs and monitors intervention programs for families with young children who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or related disability. Family Centred Practices Group is delighted to announce we are Canada’s first and only Behavioural Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE).

The BHCOE is a reputable, international accrediting body in the field of behaviour analysis. Their assessments are developed by experts in the field to distinguish exceptional behavioural health providers. This accreditation certifies a continued demonstration of exceptional international clinical and administrative standards deemed by an independent third-party evaluator.

The quality of work performed by our staff, the effectiveness of our clinical applications, and the attentiveness to each child’s individual needs is at the highest standard. To maximize a child’s opportunity to reach his or her full potential, we emphasize a proactive approach to teaching and learning. We accomplish this by capitalizing on naturally occurring motivational conditions and the principles of positive reinforcement. Through the use of these and other behaviour analytic practices, a child’s ability to experience success across environments is enhanced.

We gratefully serve families all across the Lower Mainland.This includes families living in the regional districts of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Tina Linton, M.Ed., BCBA – Clinical Director

Tina Linton received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Guelph in Ontario and her Masters degree in Special Education with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA™) with over 20 years of experience working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in home, school, and community based programs. Tina began her career in Ontario working as a Behavioural Interventionist. She moved to Victoria, BC where she continued supporting families of children with ASD and assisted with the start up of the Autism Early Intervention Program at the Queen Alexandra Center for Children’s Health in her role as an Autism Interventionist. When she moved to Vancouver, Tina began working with the Family Centred Practices Group and, after completing her Masters, was promoted to the role of Senior Behavioural Consultant. Tina also worked with Douglas College in their Behavioural Interventionist Citation Program and is a founding partner of the “Behavioural Interventionist Training Partnership”. Tina assumed the role of Clinical Director in November of 2008 and began managing the business.