Nancy Bagatell, PhD, and director of the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, is an investigator on a three-year grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).
The grant aims to examine the effectiveness of TEACCH School Transition to Employment and Postsecondary Education Program (T-STEP) for young adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder in a community college setting. The T-STEP program is a manualized intervention, which includes 24 group sessions, a weekly experiential internship, and academic and career counseling, to allow adolescents and young adults the opportunity to practice newly learned skills, such self-regulation, organizational skills, time management, and self-advocacy skills. In addition, participants receive 12 hours of individual sessions focused counseling in higher education, career mobilization, and self advocacy. This grant addresses an important need as outcomes for adults with high-functioning autism have consistently been found to be poor, with significant challenges in the workplace and post-secondary education environments.
Bagatell, alongside her colleagues who include principal investigator and TEACCH executive director Laura Klinger, will investigate whether T-STEP is an effective, socially valid, and feasible intervention in community college settings. They will also look at moderators that predict which students succeed with T-STEP and examine the program’s impact on employment and academic performance.
They will also look at moderators that predict which students succeed with T-STEP and examine the program’s impact on employment and academic performance. The division is housed in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.