Skip navigation

Calls to Action

Family Services Targeted Grants

In 2011, Autism Speaks was pleased to fund two projects targeted toward developing independent functioning and increasing participation in community life for individuals with autism. 

The grants are part of a new initiative to identify and fund targeted areas of need for individuals with autism and their families. The funding was awarded to develop an assessment tool identifying the skills and needs of teens transitioning into adulthood, as well as a comprehensive daily living/residential curriculum for service providers who support adults with autism spectrum disorders. 

Please find summaries of the two grants below:

Functional Assessment Tool for Transition Aged Individuals with ASD
$150,000 per year (2 years)

• Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D., Director of Education, Upper School McCarton School
• Paul Wehman, Ph.D. Professor of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Chairman of Rehabilitation Research with a joint appointment in the Departments of Special Education and Disability Policy and Rehabilitation Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University

The assessment will lead to comprehensive transition planning for teams supporting students with autism spectrum disorders.

The tool will help assess an individual’s ability to perform functional tasks, such as cell phone use or independent street crossing, with or without accommodations and modifications. The tool will account for pre-requisite skills for each skill set, as well as needed accommodations and modifications when those skills are not present.

Click here to learn more.

Daily Living and Residential Curriculum Project
$75,000 per year (2 years)

Applicants: 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. 

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.

Click here to learn more.

For more information about the Family Services Targeted Grants program, contact Serena Selkin, Assistant Director, Family Services Grants at or (917) 475-5059.