Therapists who serve neurodivergent populations need to apply a strategic approach when using developmental or relationship-based therapy models. Even therapy frameworks we incorporate into our practices, such as Hanen, encourage eye-contact as a therapy goal, and Hanen and both SCERTS and DIR/Floortime are sometimes used in combination with ABA methodologies, which is completely unacceptable to us. 

American Speech & Hearing Association (ASHA) tells its members that “Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is the integration of:

  • clinical expertise/expert opinion; 
  • external scientific evidence; and
  • client/patient/caregiver perspectives.”


SLP Neurodiversity Collective on Evidence Based Practices:
We take the research framework from developmental and relationship-based therapy models, use our knowledge of client and caregiver perspectives (no goals for masking, eye contact, whole body listening, appearing neurotypical, etc.), and apply our clinical background to implement therapy practices which are respectful, culturally competent, trauma-sensitive and empathetic.

We presume competence. We believe that AAC has no prerequisites. We respect sensory differences. We respect body autonomy.

Most importantly, we continually learn from our neurodivergent mentors as to what therapy approaches and methodologies are respectful and uphold human rights and self-determination.

Therapy Approaches the SLP Neurodiversity Collective Does not Use or Recommend

  • ABA – all forms; including “new and improved” ABA
  • Verbal Behavior (VB)
  • The Lovaas Approach
  • Pivot Response Treatment (PRT)
  • Natural Language Paradigm (Old PRT)
  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)
  • Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI)
  • ABA Derived Errorless Learning Therapy Models
  • Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI)
  • Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)


Evidence Based Neurodivergent-Friendly Therapy Models

Hanen – – SLP Neurodiversity Collective supports the use of this therapy model without the use of applied behavior analysis methodologies. 

DIRFloortime SLP Neurodiversity Collective supports the use of this therapy model without the use of applied behavior analysis methodologies. 

DIRFloortime® Research, Science, & Evidence

ICDL’s Advocacy Initiative – SLP Neurodiversity Collective supports the use of this therapy model without the use of applied behavior analysis methodologies. 

SCERTS   SLP Neurodiversity Collective supports the use of this therapy model without the use of applied behavior analysis methodologies. 

SCERTS Research, Science and Evidence:

Issue_Editor_Foreword__A_Developmental_Framework.2

Cluster randomized trial of the classroom SCERTS intervention for elementary students with autism spectrum disorder.

Wetherby et al 2014 Supplementary

Morgan et al 2018.aspClassroomAE_2015

Yu-Zhu2018_Article_EffectivenessOfASCERTSModel-Ba