Connecting Researchers, Practitioners, and Families
to Support Individuals with Autism

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  • Model Classroom: This project is designed to support the development, implementation and evaluation of a classroom designed to facilitate the education and treatment of children with ASD under a cognitive-behavioral, social-communicative model of curriculum and instruction. A unique aspect of this classroom model is that it is derived from two very strong foundational models to develop a hybrid that may prove to be very promising in the education and treatment of young children with ASD.  In addition, it will incorporate the use of tele-practice as a technology-based approach to training teachers and education professionals in applied settings. 

  • Sleep Project: This project is being developed to implement and further validate the use of a particular instrument designed to assess common sleep-related concerns in children with ASD/PDD.  This parent-report measure is being developed to assist parents, medical professionals, and other community-based partners (e.g., schools, private therapists) in both the planning and evaluation of assessment-driven intervention.  

  • College Bound Students with Asperger Syndrome: This project would provide training to professionals and education to high school students with AS considering applying to college. The project would evaluate student outcomes for those with AS who participate and those with AS who also enter college but do not participate.

  • Family Retreat: This project would provide an important service to families of children with ASD. The project would provide training and funding to support respite providers, support professionals to provide experiential, recreational, and didactic activities during a full day retreat, and provide awards for families in need to attend the retreat.

  • Play based intervention: This project would provide SCERTS training to those involved in the Autism Play Center at Hattie Larlham. The project would allow parents of young children with ASD to participate in the training and would examine the effectiveness of parent training on the social, communicative, behavioral, and play behaviors of young children with ASD.

  • Functional Assessment for Adults with ASD: This project would involve for field testing, and establishment of reliability and validity of an instrument designed to address the vocational, recreational, and living needs of adults with ASD

  • Safety Town for Children with ASD: This project would allow for the development and implementation of a personal safety program for children with ASD and their families. This project would be completed in conjunction with professionals from the Monarch School.


  • Etiology and Prevention of Autism Spectrum Disorders or Pervasive Developmental Disorders (ASD/PDD);
  • Vocational and Living Needs of the Older Individual with ASD/PDD;
  • Addressing the vocational and college needs of individuals with Asperger Syndrome (AS);
  • Exploring and supporting the needs of universities and employers of individuals with ASD/PDD;
  • Exploring the changing needs of families with children with ASD/PDD as family members age;
  • Exploring maternal mental health indicators related to coping with an ASD/PDD diagnosis;
  • Exploring strategies and effectiveness for implementing evidenced based practices within the home to support parents of individuals with ASD/PDD;
  • Determining which interventions or combination of interventions best meet the needs of an individual with ASD/PDD and evaluating changes over time;
  • Developing assessment instruments that allow for more accurate match between child and intervention or combinations of interventions;
  • Exploring “goodness-of-fit” between evidence-based interventions and the unique characteristics of both the individual student and his/her learning environment;
  • Emphasizing Assessment Driven Life Span Interventions vs. Diagnosis Driven;
  • Supporting Public Schools in developing and evaluating sound, legally defendable programs;
  • Engaging in non-biased efficacy research on different intervention approaches across the lifespan (parent training models, center based models, behavioral models, social pragmatic models, information processing models);
  • Exploring and addressing the high cost of services for individuals with ASD/PDD across the lifespan;
  • Exploring, researching, and developing humanistic models for addressing the cognitive, communicative, emotional, and behavioral needs of those with ASD/PDD;
  • Exploring the nature of social communication deficits in children with AS and the interface between social, cognitive, and academic needs;
  • Developing sound assessment instruments for adults with ASD/PDD;
  • Exploring the nature of receptive and expressive language development in children with ASD/PDD;
  • Examining the influence of dynamic political, social, economic, market, and media issues on the diagnosis of ASD/PDD, access to intervention services, and intervention efficacy.