CSESA eNews Fall 2016


Fall 2016

Welcome! This is the seventh 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



International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) Conference



As we wrapped up our fourth year at CSESA, we were also busy at conferences presenting our work! Two members of our team travelled to Baltimore for the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) conference, where they were able to share CSESA data with other scientists and colleagues from around the world. Susan Hedges presented a poster on integrating technology into teaching students with autism and Tara Regan did an oral presentation on the Secondary School Success Checklist (SSS-C, found here), a transition planning tool for high school students with autism. You can see links to their presentations here.



Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference



We also travelled to St. Louis to present at the Council for Exceptional Children's conference (CEC) where several of our team members presented to a packed audience about school based interventions and fidelity for adolescents with autism. See the information that Bonnie Kraemer, Laura Hall, Sam Odom, and Kara Hume shared here. Susan Hedges presented her research on effectiveness of using technology as an area of strength for students with autism which can be viewed here.




New CSESA Resources




The CSESA team has just launched a new series, Teens Talking to Teens. The first edition is a resource on planning for life after high school.  Link to this resource here.


The content and suggested resources were generated by young adults on the autism spectrum and reflects their thoughts about pressing issues and important suggestions for other young adults.


Please feel free to download it and share with teens, teachers, families, or community members.





This summer the CSESA website got a brand new look! Check out the newly redesigned website here.  The CSESA website is the home of the center’s news, activities, leadership, research updates, and resources.


The resources are designed for a variety of groups: individuals on the autism spectrum, families, educators, researchers, and community members, and are ready for you to download and use.




CSESA Spotlight



The Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules (AFIRM) website is a great resource for teens with ASD, their parents, and teachers.  These online modules were designed to help individuals learn the step-by-step process of planning for, using, and monitoring evidence-based practices (EBPs).  Teens can use AFIRM to learn about self-management, an evidence-based practice that can help individuals with ASD achieve greater levels of independence in all aspects of their life (social, academic, and vocational). By learning self-management techniques, teens can work on regulating their own behavior and may find it easier to adapt to varying social situations.


To find out more about self-management or any of the 27 EBPs for learners with ASD, check out the AFIRM website here.





On The Horizon


Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) Conference



DCDT - Division on Career Development and Transition


There will be a number of CSESA presentations at the upcoming DCDT conference in Myrtle Beach, SC from October 19th – October 22nd, 2016. See the conference website for more information. If you are attending, stop by the CSESA posters and presentations listed below.


Thursday, October 20th, 2:45-3:45pm:

The Use of Everyday Technologies by High School Students with Autism to Support Independence

(Tara Regan)


Friday, October 21st, 1:30-2:30pm:

Multilevel Modeling: School and Community Characteristics That Impact Predictors of Postsecondary Outcomes for High Schoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Alice Verstrat, Tara Regan)


Saturday, October 22nd, 11:00am-12:00pm:

The SSSC: A New Multi-Informant Assessment for High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Tara Regan, April Clinard)



American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention


2016 Convention




Stop by a poster presentation about CSESA at the annual ASHA Convention in Philadelphia, PA, running from November 17th – 19th, 2016. See the conference website for more details.


Thursday, November 17th, 11:00am-12:30pm: Developmental Characteristics and Profiles of High School Students on the Autism Spectrum (Jessica Steinbrenner, Sallie Nowell)


If you are not able to attend the conferences, check our Conferences and Presentations section of the CSESA website after the conferences to see the posters and presentations.



Research Highlights


We are in our final year of work with 60 high schools in NC, WI, and CA. We have learned so much collaborating with staff, students, and parents across the country. This year we will also follow-up with students and families who have exited high school to learn more about their lives after high school.


The CSESA team has been sharing what we’ve learned thus far with practitioners, researchers, and families through our published papers, conference presentations, and CSESA resources found on our website.


A recent publication in Remedial and Special Education

(Carter et al. in press; DOI: 10.1177/0741932516672067) highlights the success of using peer supports with students with ASD served in general education classrooms. The use of peer supports increased social interactions for the students with ASD, and helped to improve or maintain academic engagement. The peer partners who supported their classmates with ASD also thought the intervention was a success and would like to participate in that role in the future.






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.