Appraising the best available evidence substantiating and informing occupational therapy practice is a commonly expressed obligation for the profession (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2007). In this article we argue for the full inclusion of qualitative research, on parity with quantitative research, as a source for evidence of relevant and effective occupational therapy practice, review the limitations of quantitative research, and outline the distinctive contributions of qualitative studies to the practice of occupational therapy for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In addition, we describe the role of qualitative studies in the fulfillment of the Centennial Vision (AOTA, 2007) and recommend three action steps for the profession.

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