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TITLE: “Evaluating Intervention Research for Transition-age Autistic Youth.”

In the United States, federal law mandates that students with disabilities, including autistic students, receive educational services to support their transition to adulthood following high school exit. These services are mandated to start no later than 14 years of age, and to continue until students graduate.

Ideally, the types of supports offered during this period would be backed by a robust evidence-base. While there have been efforts to evaluate and summarize the quality of intervention research conducted for younger children (e.g., Sandbank et al., 2020), there have been no such efforts geared toward research focusing on transition-age autistic youth.

In this talk, we will discuss our work to conduct such an evaluation of more than 200 intervention studies. Specifically, we will summarize research quality indicators such as randomization, masking of assessors, experimental control, and adverse event reporting. We will also summarize the types of intervention outcomes that researchers have assessed, and the extent to which they index meaningful, lasting change.

This webinar was co-presented by Dr Kristen Bottema-Beutel, Associate Professor of Special Education at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College. Her research interests included using both qualitative and quantitative methods to better characterize autistic communication and sociality, and in developing school-based strategies to support autistic students.

She was joined by Shannon Crowley, a PhD candidate at the Lynch School.

It took place online on Thursday, 11th November 2021, at 16.00-17.00 GMT.