Considerations for Establishing a Multi-Tiered Problem-Solving Model for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Comorbid Emotional–Behavioral Disorders


Correspondence to: Caroline I. Magyar, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642. E-mail:


Students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) present unique programming challenges to school personnel because of the wide variability of clinical symptoms and the high rates of emotional and/or behavior disorders (EBD) that can affect learning outcomes. Currently, there is little empirically based guidance to assist in determining the support and intervention needs of these students to improve their classroom participation and engagement in learning, particularly for those students at risk for or diagnosed with an EBD. This article describes considerations for establishing a multi-tiered problem-solving model of service delivery that can guide identification, intervention, and progress monitoring of EBD in students with ASD. This article describes how empirically based ASD-specific assessment and instructional and behavior support practices can be embedded within a multi-tiered prevention-based continuum of support. A case example illustrates how the model was developed in a school to meet the needs of students with ASD and related EBD.