This application responds to the identified need for developing and testing a model for transition to adult supports and services for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that prevents lapses in services and enhances functional life outcomes. The proposal also addresses concerns raised by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of a "critical lack of tested interventions for adolescents and young adults." Although federal education law mandates that public schools provide transition services as part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP), the promise and potential for a well-coordinated and planned transition is not being met. The proposed study builds on two randomized controlled trials of a parent-teacher consultation intervention called the Collaborative Model for Promoting Competence and Success (COMPASS) for young children with ASD, data on efficacy for both traditional face-to-face and videoconferencing technology delivery methods, and a book-length treatment manual. COMPASS is an implementation strategy that assists in transferring evidence based approaches into classrooms and assists public school special educators and parents in ecological assessment, research-informed goal development, and person-centered decision-making for individualizing evidence-based interventions for children with ASD. The COMPASS intervention consists of an initial parent-teacher session (3 hours) occurring near the start of the school year, followed by four 1-hour teacher coaching.
The first aim i s to conduct focus groups with stakeholders including policy makers, parents, teachers, service providers, and persons with ASD to get feedback on (i) strengths and weaknesses of state policies and services and resources that exist or are needed to support effective implementation of best practices for transition age youth with ASD;(ii) other concerns impacting adult services such as housing, social security, health insurance, transportation;and (iii) specific aspects of COMPASS that would need to be adapted/revised to meet the needs of transition age youth. Based on these results, we will identify measures that would need to be adapted/developed and obtain feedback from a subsample of focus group members on the measures.
Our second aim i s to conduct a two wave pilot randomized controlled trial of the adapted COMPASS for transition planning using the new procedures and measures (n = 32 participant triads-consultant, teacher, student with ASD) using a mixed methods approach. We will obtain qualitative feedback on the intervention (acceptability, feasibility, outcomes) and use data to revise/adapt second wave implementation as well as to help inform further applications in adult settings. Lastly, we will conduct qualitative case studie based on individuals with ASD who have low and high performing outcomes to understand factors that might explain differential response to the intervention and use to revise/adapt second wave implementation.
This application responds to the need for developing and testing a model for transition to adult supports and services for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that prevents lapses in services and enhances functional life outcomes. The parent-teacher consultation intervention called the Collaborative Model for Promoting Competence and Success (COMPASS) for young children with ASD will be adapted based on stakeholder input and tested in a randomized controlled study of 32 participants. Variables to help understand factors that explain optimal and poor outcomes will also be obtained.