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Calls to Action

Daily Living and Residential Curriculum Project

San Diego
State/Province Full: 
United States

In 2011, Autism Speaks was pleased to fund the creation of a Daily Living and Residential Curriculum Project for professionals providing services to individuals with autism in residential settings. The grant of $75,000 per year over two years was awarded to Valerie Paradiz, Ph.D. Director of Autistic Global Initiative and Janine Collins, Research Manager. The Autistic Global Initiative (AGI), a program of Autism Research Institute, will develop a comprehensive daily living/residential curriculum for service providers who support adults with autism spectrum disorders. The curriculum will undergo two reviews to be completed by a Community Advisory Committee and an Expert Review Committee. The final curriculum package will consist of a six-day seminar and supporting materials, ready for rollout in settings where adults with autism, including youth in transition, are supported. Curriculum package items will include: • A full PowerPoint Presentation, with facilitator notes/training protocols • Recent data and research findings in key areas of daily living • Additional resources and references relevant to adult services and ASD • A Training Manual containing: 1. Seminar learning tools and exercises for trainees 2. Homework for trainees 3. Tools and curriculum for direct support/implementation in daily living settings 4. Pre and post assessments for staff competencies and standards of support 5. Pre and post assessments for individuals with autism supported by the curriculum 6. PowerPoint handouts for note 7. A DVD containing the video learning curriculum 8. A CD containing assessments and tools for implementation in items 1--‐5 above The immediate objective of the curriculum is to produce content as well as an accompanying training model that effectively answer the urgent need for ASD specific standards of care, safety and support in the adult services sector. A review of current evidence based and best practice will inform curriculum design, while the Community Advisory and Expert Reviews will provide recommendations for improvement and revision toward the final package product. Curriculum developers, led by the Project Director and the Research Manager, will work as a team to produce material that is applicable in all residential settings where adults with ASD live, that addresses all cognitive expressions of autism across the lifespan, and that considers youth in transition. The proposed curriculum units, supported by case studies and information relevant to daily living/residential settings, include: • Historical and Insider Perspective of Autism • Foundational Methodologies • Regulation • Communication • Interpersonal Skills • Safety, Sexuality and Harassment • Health, Wellness and Nutrition AGI will partner with several sites throughout the country to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and modify as appropriate. This grant was made possible by gifts from the Stephen M. Cassiani Charitable Lead Annuity Trust and the Carol Ann Cassiani Charitable Lead Annuity Trust. For more information about the Family Services Targeted Grants Program, contact Serena Selkin, Family Services Grants Manager at or (917) 475-5059.