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The TEACCH School Transition to Employment and Postsecondary Education Program (T-STEP) is an intervention developed to support the transition to employment and post-secondary education for 18-21-year-olds with Autism Spectrum Disorder who will or have received the Future-Ready Core high school diploma.

The purpose of this research study is to learn more about what kinds of interventions help young adults with ASD. Through funding from the Department of Defense Autism Research Program, we want to compare two different transition to adulthood programs. Young adults will be randomly assigned to receive one of these interventions. They may be assigned to the Comprehensive T-STEP program or the Counseling component program.

Students participating in this study will:

  • Participate in group and individualized sessions
  • Be counseled in career exploration, higher education, and self-advocacy
  • Identify skills, strengths, and supports to use in post-secondary and employment settings

We want to compare the full T-STEP Program to the counseling component program. Study participants at this community college will be randomly assigned to receive either the Comprehensive T-STEP Program or the Counseling Program. Students have equal chances of being put in either program. Both programs involve a student workbook, are taught in a group setting, and are provided during a 12-week semester [Fall or Spring]. During the Fall 2021 semester, this program will be provided online in partnership with Guilford Tech Community College.

Young adults randomly assigned to receive the Comprehensive T-STEP Program, will:

  • Participate in 24 class sessions (2 sessions each week)
  • Complete an Internship (2 hours each week plus support meetings)
  • Receive Counseling in career exploration, higher education, and self-advocacy (1 hour each week)

Young adults randomly assigned to receive Counseling Program, will: 

  • Receive Counseling in career exploration, higher education, and self-advocacy (1 hour of counseling each week)

For more information, contact the TSTEP team at 919-843-9505 or TEACCH_Research@med.unc.edu.