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Social Thinking® Methodology: Evidence-Based or Empirically Supported? A Response to Leaf et al. (2016)
Pamela J. Crooke and Michelle Garcia Winner
October 12, 2016
Our peer reviewed article, published in Behavior Analysis in Practice, addresses several misconceptions and inaccuracies in an article by Leaf and colleagues. These misconceptions have provided an excellent opportunity to clarify the well-established distinction between evidence-based practices (EBP) and empirically supported therapies (EST).
The purpose of this article is to address several misconceptions and inaccuracies that were advanced in the article "Social Thinking®: Science, Pseudoscience, or Antiscience?" (Leaf et al., 2016a; Erratum: Leaf et al., 2016b). These misconceptions have created an opportunity to discuss an issue of great importance to those who treat individuals diagnosed with social communication challenges including, but not limited to, autism spectrum disorders (ASD). That issue is the question of what do we mean by "evidence-based practice" or as Leaf and colleagues have cast it, the science of intervention. Because the Leaf et al. (2016a) article focused entirely on Social Thinking® (ST)1 for their arguments, we will start by defining the methodology, and then offer an alternative viewpoint to this important issue.