Evaluating Visual Activity Schedules as Evidence-Based Practice for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Victoria Knight, Emily Sartini, Amy D. Spriggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted for articles published between 1993 and 2013 to evaluate the quality of the Visual Activity Schedules (VAS) literature using current evidence-based criteria developed by Horner et al. (Except Child 71:165–179, 2005). Authors sought to determine whether VAS can be considered an evidence-based practice by expanding on the findings from previous reviews. A total of 31 studies met inclusion criteria for the use of VAS to various behaviors to students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Of these studies, 16 met criteria for acceptable quality. Results suggest that VAS can be considered an EBP for individuals with ASD, especially when used in combination with systematic instructional procedures. VAS can be used to increase, maintain, and generalize a range of skills of individuals from preschool through adulthood in a variety of settings (e.g., general education, community). Implications for practitioners using VAS, limitations, and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-178
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Visual activity schedules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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