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Autism


Autism: Programs, Services, and Resources

Free Online Course: Autism Transition to Adulthood

This self-paced noncredit extension course through the University of Missouri is an overview for families and community professionals about the important life skill areas for a successful transition to adult life. Topics for this module include: Community Living Skills, Health and Safety, Education and Training after High School, Employment and Adult Services and Benefits. Resources will also be provided. Participants in this course will be able to:

  • Identify key life areas in planning for a successful transition to being an adult.
  • Identify when to begin the transition process for each of the key areas.
  • Identify resources available to assist families and providers in preparing individuals with ASD for transition to adult life.

Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH), Division of Developmental Disabilities - The MO DMH Division of Developmental Disabilities established Missouri’s Autism Program in 1991. The program provides in-home support services to individuals and families and with autism.

National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) - NECTAC's autism page provides a wealth of online knowledge and resources in regards to diagnosis, programs, guidelines, and evidence-based practices and children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).


Project ACCESS

Created in 1985, Project Access was (one of) the first state resource centers for autism in the nation. Funded 100% by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Project ACCESS at Missouri State University provides autism resource information to public schools across Missouri serving students with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) in the form of onsite and telephone consultations, as well as support via the internet. In addition, Project ACCESS designs autism-specific professional development opportunities and trains professional, credentialed individuals to present these courses through Missouri's Regional Professional Development Centers (RPDCs). These trainings are offered to Missouri school district staff and educators who work with youth ages 0–21 years, who experience ASD and related disabilities. Onsite child-specific consultations can be arranged through the use of Missouri Autism Consultants and district staff can be trained to be In-District Autism Consultants.


Thompson Center, University of Missouri — Columbia

The Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri — Columbia was established on April 29, 2005 to promote research, teaching, and service innovations designed to improve the lives of children with ASD and other neurological conditions. The center serves as a resource for families and professionals, providing help today through clinical services and hope for tomorrow through research and professional training.

The purpose of this site is to give families, self-advocates, teachers, health care providers and other professionals an introduction to the process of planning for the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It is also meant to provide resources and options to consider for the future.

The resources provided here address the following:

  • General guidance about the process of planning for the transition from adolescence to adulthood
  • How youth can be involved in the transition planning process
  • Key contacts to make during the transition process
  • A roadmap of resources in the areas of community living, health and safety, emergency preparedness, education and training, employment and adult services and benefits planning

Applied Behavior Analysis

Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) - This site provides national certification standards, information on how to become certified and maintain certification, as well as lists of approved BACB coursework and contact information. The certificant registry not onlylists certified individuals in Missouri, but throughout the United States and outside of the country as well.


Evidence-based Interventions in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) Services
Final Report on Environmental Scan

March 9, 2010

Brief Overview

Executive Summary

Recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the number of children diagnosed with autism is increasing. As the number of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) rises, budgetary constraints limit the capacity of states to provide related services and supports. To make the most effective use of limited resources, federal and state policymakers need empirical data to make informed decisions about which services and support systems are safe and cost-effective. Currently, relatively little is known about the effectiveness of many autism interventions and services. Few initiatives and studies have focused on providing information about the most effective services for individuals with ASD. To address this information need, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) contracted with IMPAQ International, LLC to conduct an environmental scan of the scientific evidence regarding the efficacy, effectiveness, safety, and availability of ASD-related psychosocial services and supports for children, transitioning youth, and adults with ASD. This report describes findings from the literature review, including data on the evidence base for interventions for individuals with autism across the age span as well as data on the significant costs associated with caring for individuals with autism. These data provide CMS with much-needed information to inform policy and funding decisions related to ASD services and supports.

Methods

The environmental scan focused on behavioral and psychosocial interventions (e.g., behavioral therapy services/supports) and did not include services traditionally considered medical or pharmaceutical. The search included manuscripts published in the ten years prior to the start of the environmental scan (1998 through 2008). An Information Gathering Template was developed to extract the most relevant information from each article reviewed. Each study was rated on a 9 point scale based on the rigor of the research design (e.g., study design, sample selection and potential for selection bias, sample size, effect on participants). The researchers grouped the interventions into the following three levels based upon the pool of evidence provided by the manuscripts reviewed: IMPAQ International, LLC Page ii Final Report on Environmental Scan Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) Services Project.

  • Level 1: Evidence-Based Interventions
  • Level 2: Emerging Evidence-Based Interventions
  • Level 3: Unestablished Interventions

Interventions were placed in levels 1, 2, or 3 based on the National Professional Development Centers (NPDC) criteria for assessing evidence-based practices. The researchers also reviewed relevant cost and funding literature relating to ASDs in the environmental scan. The results of this scan provide key information on each intervention category within the three evidence levels as well as a synthesis of the cost and funding articles.

Overview of Major Findings

While considerable evidence exists for interventions that target children, little evidence exists for interventions that target transitioning youth and adults with ASD.

A total of 214 studies covering 31 interventions were reviewed for children. Of these 31 interventions, almost half (48 percent) were rated as evidence-based, 42 percent were rated as emerging evidence-based, and 10 percent were rated as unestablished.

We reviewed studies providing evidence on 15 different interventions for transitioning youth with ASD. The majority of interventions (73 percent) were rated as unestablished. Few interventions (7 percent) met the criteria for evidence-based practices.

We found evidence of the effectiveness of only nine interventions for adults with ASD. One-third of the interventions (33 percent) were rated as evidence-based, only one intervention was rated as emerging evidence-based, and the majority (56 percent) was rated as unestablished.

The scan highlights the need for further research into effective interventions for individuals with ASD, specifically interventions that can be successfully implemented within community settings.