Research

We are currently recruiting...  Were you one of the first families to come to TEACCH® in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s?
The Research Team at the UNC TEACCH Autism Program wants to hear from you! One of the missions of TEACCH is to provide services to a growing population of adults with autism.  In order to achieve this goal, we first need to know the challenges faced by adults with autism and the services and supports that are needed.  If you’re interested in learning more about this research study, click here or contact the study coordinator, at TEACCH_Research@med.unc.edu or 919-962-3303.
Family Implemented TEACCH for Toddlers

FITT logoLauren Turner-Brown, Kara Hume, and Brian Boyd are studying the effects of Family Implemented TEACCH for Toddlers on toddlers with ASD and their caregivers. This 6-month in-home intervention incorporates structured teaching and naturalistic strategies to promote communication, play, social skills, engagement, and flexibility in very young children with ASD.  The investigators have received funding from the Maternal Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute to study FITT, and are currently enrolling community providers to examine how well they can learn and implement FITT with toddlers in their communities. Read more

TEACCH School Transition to Employment Program

T-STEP logoThe TEACCH School Transition to Employment Program (T-STEP) is for students in 10th-12th grade with high-functioning ASD in the Guilford County or Chapel Hill-Carrboro High Schools. This program addresses skills needed for success in college, higher- education, or employment settings. It specifically focuses on organization and time management skills, emotion regulation, and social skills across 19 in-school sessions. Students will also have opportunities to practice these skills on a weekly basis at an in-school internship site. Group sessions will be completed during the 2015-2016 school year in the Guilford Country and Chapel Hill-Carrboro High Schools. Families interested in participating or learning more about this program can contact Allison Meyer at 919-843-5259 or TEACCH_Research@med.unc.edu.

Long-term Adult Outcomes

We are interested in learning about adult outcomes and current needs for individuals served by TEACCH between 1965 -2000.

ASD in Mid-Adulthood: A  40 Year Follow-Up of Individuals Served by the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program

Laura Klinger, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, will conduct a landmark 40-year follow-up study of individuals served by the TEACCH Autism Program. This represents a unique opportunity to study outcomes in middle-aged adults with ASD.

“As the numbers of children diagnosed with ASD increase, there is a growing concern that the resulting increase in adults diagnosed with ASD will overwhelm our current educational, employment, and residential support programs.  However, little is known about the long-term outcome and needs of middle age and older adults with ASD.  We simply don’t know whether the quality of life improves, declines, or plateaus for individuals with ASD who are past the transition to adulthood years.  Additionally, little is known about how symptoms change from childhood to mid-adulthood and what factors predict adult outcome.  This is a relatively unchartered research field.

The purpose of the proposed study is to conduct a longitudinal study examining adult outcome in middle-aged adults with ASD who were diagnosed during childhood by the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program.  Approximately 7,000 children with ASD were served between 1965 and 2000 and are now adults.  The goal of this study is to survey 400 of these adults and their caregivers. The data generated from this research has the potential to make a significant impact on legislative and community service agency decisions that affect adults with ASD.”, as stated by Laura Klinger, Ph.D. read more

New Grant Enables UNC Programs to Launch Unprecedented Collaboration to Improve Services for Young Children with Autism and their Families

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have received a State Implementation Grant of $900,000 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve services for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.  TEACCH is collaborating with UNC Department of Allied Health Sciences (DAHS), Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD), Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, the School of Public Health, the School of Social Work, and the Shep Center. This three-year project has the primary purpose to lower the ages by which young children receive appropriate developmental screening, ASD-specific screening, diagnostic assessments, and early intervention.

Learning and Attention Research

In order to create new intervention programs, TEACCH needs to learn more about how people with ASD learn. Allison Meyer, a clinical psychology graduate student at TEACCH, is studying how children with ASD learn new categories – she is using exciting eye tracking techniques to see where children are looking when they are learning. Patrick Powell, a psychology graduate student at TEACCH, is studying whether children with ASD have trouble learning things automatically or whether it takes more effort for them to learn.

Research Contacts

Mark Klinger, Ph.D., Director of Research
mark_klinger@med.unc.edu

Joanna Mussey, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow
joanna_mussey@med.unc.edu

Allison Meyer, Graduate Research Assistant
allison.meyer@unc.edu

Patrick Powell, Graduate Research Assistant
pspowell@email.unc.edu

Elena Lamarche, Research Coordinator

For more information: 
Call 919-962-3303 or email: 
TEACCH_research@med.unc.edu

We are currently recruiting...

Were you one of the first families to come to TEACCH® in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s? Click here

The Research Team at the UNC TEACCH Autism Program wants to hear from you! One of the missions of TEACCH is to provide services to a growing population of adults with autism.  In order to achieve this goal, we first need to know the challenges faced by adults with autism and the services and supports that are needed.  If you’re interested in learning more about this research study, click here or contact the study coordinator at: TEACCH_Research@med.unc.edu or 919-962-3303.