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Introduction to the Manual of Procedures (MOP)

The National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on Autism Spectrum Disorders is a multi-university professional development center that began in 2007.  Partnering universities include the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and the MIND Institute, University of California-Davis Medical Center. The center is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The primary goal of the center is to build capacity within a state by providing resources, professional development, and technical assistance/coaching  to increase the number of highly qualified personnel serving children and youth with ASD and their families. The center also works with states to promote the use of evidence based practices (EBP) for early identification, intervention, and education.

Challenges arise for educators in determining which practices to implement for individual students with ASD and in receiving the appropriate level of training in these practices. In addition, it can be difficult to translate research findings to classroom settings. These challenges are compounded by a lack of resources, especially in terms of time, that many educators face.

In order to address these challenges, the NPDC developed criteria for establishing practices as being effective for students with ASD in school settings and reviewed the research literature. Twenty-four EBP were identified as meeting the criteria established by the NPDC. The NPDC has developed a set of high-quality, free professional development materials to facilitate the training of those working with learners with ASD. Included in the professional development trainings are a series of tools that assess the quality of programs, facilitate the process of linking student goals to specific evidence based practices (EBP), and provide self-instruction on the  24 evidence-based practices identified by the NPDC. A coaching manual and training package also have been developed by NPDC to help technical assistance providers and school teams work effectively together during the implementation process.