CSESA eNews Spring 2015


Spring 2015

Welcome! This is the fourth edition of eNews from the Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder  (CSESA). We plan to send out periodic updates via eNews, but for more up-to-date information, you can find us on Facebook or visit our website.

Recent Conferences and Events

Members of our CSESA team went to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Conference in November. The presentation, Implementing Peer Mediated interventions in High Schools with Students with ASD, is available on the CSESA website here.

Research Highlights


CSESA Study by the Numbers


The CSESA study is in full swing for our first cohort of schools.  We are excited to be partnering with schools in California, Wisconsin, and North Carolina to learn more about how schools are educating high schools students with ASD and provide support to school teams.



Staff members at all of our high schools receive training and support across two years.  Technology, including Skype and video conferencing, allows CSESA staff to make frequent connections with our school teams who may be located several hours away from the university sites.

New CSESA Resources

Check out the newest Autism at-a-Glance resource on anxiety. This Autism at-a-Glance was designed to support high school staff and family members in understanding and recognizing symptoms of anxiety, and how those symptoms may present in adolescents on the autism spectrum. Please feel free to download it and share it with teachers or families that you know who might be interested in it.


Autism at-a-Glance is a series of practitioner and family-friendly documents created by the Center on Secondary Education for Students with ASD (CSESA) designed for high school staff members supporting students on the autism spectrum, as well as family members of adolescents with ASD. The purpose of the Autism at-a-Glance series is to provide a current summary of topics relevant to high school students with ASD as well as practical tips and resources for school and community personnel and family members.The complete Autism at-a-Glance series can be found here.


Stay tuned for our next Autism At-A-Glance on Exercise!


Case Studies


Several NEW case studies have been added to the website We have developed case studies to help teachers and other service providers learn how to implement evidence based practices with adolescents with ASD.  The case studies include real challenges, embedded video clips, data collection tools, and implementation ideas teachers can try in their classroom today!  Check out the case studies here.


On The Horizon


Look for us at the 2015 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) convention in San Diego, CA, April 8-11, 2015. CSESA is leading a strand of sessions Friday April 10, 2015.  The strand is comprised of “Literacy Instruction for High School Students with ASD”, “Strengthening Independence in Adolescents with ASD”, “Strengthening Social Competence and Peer Relationships of Adolescents with ASD”, and “Preparing High School Students with ASD for College and Careers”. Session times can be found here.



Some CA team members are pictured above


Want to be a part of be CSESA team?


CSESA is looking for high schools in or near North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Southern California that are ready to partner with us to build and/or enhance supportive programs for the growing number of adolescents with autism. We are actively recruiting high schools for our 2nd Cohort of schools to be involved in the 2015-2017 school years. More information and an interest form can be found on the CSESA website here.


CSESA Spotlight

It has been great to get into high schools and see all of the wonderful strategies that teachers are using to support their students with ASD. Here are a few examples of visual supports that we saw teachers using during our time in the schools. For more information about visual supports for high school students on the autism spectrum, visit our Visual Supports case study here:




Visual Supports for participating in class.  This teacher in Wisconsin provided clear expectations for her students across different types of classroom instruction.  This is a great way to help remind students of the rules of the road for individual, small group, and large group activities.



Hank Hygiene! One of our North Carolina teachers uses visual supports in his weekly lessons related to grooming. Direct instruction related to these “soft” skills can help students as they prepare for post-secondary plans, including soft skills needed for jobs or college. Read more about how to support the development of independence in students with ASD: http://fpg.unc.edu/…/reso…/snapshots/FPG_Snapshot73_2014.pdf


A special Autism-At-A-Glance on hygiene is also coming soon – keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.

The Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (CSESA) is a research and development project funded by the U.S. Department of Education that focuses on developing, adapting, and studying a comprehensive school-based and community-based education program for high school students on the autism spectrum.

The work reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education through Grant R324C120006 awarded to UNC-Chapel Hill.  The opinions expressed represent those of the authors and do not represent views of the institute or the U.S. Department of Education.