The number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has increased substantially and many students with ASD are general education classrooms. The transition to a less restrictive educational placement presents special challenges for students with ASD whose early learning experiences have consisted primarily of structured 1:1 teaching. Teachers need effective instruction that can be integrated into typical classroom routines and activities. In addition, landmark legislation (IDEA and NCLB) requires the use of instructional methods that are based on scientific research. Direct Instruction can provide a practical and effective option. Direct Instruction programs are scientifically-based but, more importantly, they are empirically-validated. More than 30 years of research has shown Direct Instruction to be effective in addressing the needs of students ranging from those with severe disabilities to those identified as gifted, suggesting that the principles underlying effective instruction are more important in the process of learning than the special characteristics of any particular student population. Direct Instruction programs are based on two overarching beliefs: All children can be taught and all teachers can be successful when given effective materials and presentation techniques. In this session, Dr. Watkins will discuss how Direct Instruction programs can address the unique needs of learners with ASD while supporting the acquisition of academic skills. The presentation will provide an overview of Direct Instruction, present video examples of instructional programs, and describe features of instructional design and delivery methods of DI programs that make them effective and efficient tools to teach children with autism spectrum disorders.