Research and Evaluation
This page contains links to research and evaluations relating to the HCWA and Better Start programs, and the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres.
Good Practice Guidelines
The Early Intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: ‘Guidelines for Good Practice’ 2012 report by Margot Prior and Jacqueline Roberts provides:
- Summary comments on research findings relating to early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Research and evidence-based guidelines for best practice in early intervention
This report provides a review into research in order to identify the most effective models of early intervention for children with Autism. During the development of the HCWA program, this report supported policy decisions about which interventions would be eligible for individualised funding under the program guidelines.
Roberts J.M.A and Prior M (2006) A review of the research to identify the most effective models of practice in early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, the Early Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Guidelines for Best Practice published by Prior and Roberts (2006) and updated A review of the research to identify the most effective models of practice in early intervention of children with autism spectrum disorders by Prior, M., Roberts, J. M.A., Rodger, S., Williams, K.& Sutherland, R.(2011).
The Executive Summary and full report of the 2011 Review are available below.
Based on the 2011 Review, a list of eligible and ineligible interventions under HCWA was developed as The Early Interventions Table. While the HCWA program is closing 30 June 2020, this table still provides a useful reference about the therapies available for children at that time. Questions about the Table and current eligible interventions can be directed to the Early Intervention Helpdesk on 1800 778 581 or email Early.Intervention@dss.gov.au
Supporting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder – a Guide for Families and Professionals
Guide for families and professionals to support individuals with ASD under 25.
Evaluations of the HCWA Package
In 2012, ARTD consultants conducted an evaluation of the HCWA package. The evaluation found it has had a positive impact on children with autism and their families by increasing access to early intervention services, and supporting families to better understand autism and the services available to them.
The evaluation also recommended changes to improve outcomes for children with autism and their families. In response, the Australian Government modified the package in a number of ways, including changing operational guidelines and improving communication between stakeholders.
The evaluation report is available here:
A summary of the Evaluation recommendations, the Government response and existing and proposed actions is also available: