Guideposts to better programs

Guideposts to Better Outcomes

Despite tremendous investments in research, we continue to see remarkable gaps between what we know and what we do. We have sought to close these gaps primarily by conducting outcome research that identifies effective practices.  This is a critical first step towards improving education and treatment; it helps individual professionals choose the best practices to deliver to an individual student, patient,or client. But this approach only impacts one life at a time. To take the next step. we will need a new approach to the science and scholarship of program implementation.  This approach must seek to identify replicable. sustainable, and accessible programs that can deliver these effective practices, and that can be scaled up to impact many many lives at once.

So how might we develop this new approach?  I propose to create roadmaps built on different kinds of lessons; I draw straight lines from research to your practice, I outline simple steps to improve your programs, and I offer other lessons learned from successful programs.

Most of these lessons are set in the context of a more detailed description of a successful program.  This helps readers to learn more about the program from which these lessons originally emerged, and to decide if this lesson might be relevant to the program they are now seeking to improve.  And in some cases, these detailed descriptions may point directly to specific, concrete steps that readers can take now.

You will see lessons referenced in different ways throughout this website:

  • Some earlier lessons guided my subsequent efforts to develop other programs.
  • Some lessons help to inform stories, or case studies of people that I have known or other programs I have read about or imagined.  Stories can also themselves offer a lesson.
  • Still other lessons help to shape opinions about other ideas or emerging approaches. Some opinions can also themselves offer a lesson.
  • And some lessons may be described in a publication. In this case, clicking on the link will bring you to a page including the complete reference, summarizing the lesson, and, in some cases, including access to the original publication.

So I invite you to take a journey, using these lessons as guideposts, to create a roadmap for the program you hope to develop or improve. Follow links to read more about a specific lesson, to learn about the program in which the lesson was first learned, and to identify specific, concrete steps that you can take now, to improve the lives of people with ASD or related conditions

The logo is adapted from Joaquim Alves Gaspar's drawing of Pedro Reinel's compass rose.