As professionals or parents teaching children with autism, it is critical that the strategies we use are supported by research. This is important so that we don't waste money or the child's time on interventions that may not be effective. If an intervention method has sufficient research support, it is called an evidence-based practice (EBP).
The National Standards Report is a report published in 2009 that lists how much research support different autism intervention methods have. This report lists "incorporating...special interests...or ritualistic/obsessional activities into tasks" as an "Established" intervention*. This means that there is research to support the strategy.
I hope knowing that there is research support to incorporating student interests into learning activities will encourage more teachers to use this valuable strategy with confidence.
This month, Positively Autism will provide you with information and tools to use student interests to teach in the classroom and home.
*As part of the "Antecedent Package" - NAC Report, page 44.