Grant #: R324A180053
PI: Leanne Tamm, PhD; Amie Duncan, PhD
Co-I: Aaron Vaughn, PhD; Lori Crosby, PsyD
Collaborators: Kara Hume, PhD (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Lauren Kenworthy, PhD (George Washington University Medical School); Josh Langberg, PhD (Virginia Commonwealth University); Cathy Pratt, PhD (Indiana Resource Center for Autism); Janine Stichter, PhD (University of Missouri); David Test, PhD (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)

To purpose of this study is to adapt and document the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an academic executive functioning and study skills intervention, Teaching Academic Skills to Kids (TASK), for high functioning middle-school students with ASD (i.e., average IQ or higher) who also have executive functioning problems and their parents. This work builds upon another grant developing a similar intervention for use in the clinical setting. In the current grant, the adaptation will be appropriate for use in middle school settings (TASK-S). Students and parents will be recruited from southern Ohio and northern Kentucky school systems. Middle-school (6th to 8th grade) students with high functioning ASD (IQ ≥85) and executive functioning challenges, and their parent(s). Additionally, experts in the field of school interventions and ASD, school mental health professionals, and teachers will also participate. An iterative design process (focus groups and open trials) will be implemented to develop an intervention manual and assess feasibility, followed by a small randomized controlled pilot study to assess efficacy. A variety of measures will be used to assess intervention fidelity and promise of the intervention for improving school functioning. These include: attendance, fidelity checklists, parent, teacher, and student questionnaires, standardized measures of student behavior, academic functioning, and independent functioning, official school records, family demographic data, and developmental and medical history of the students.

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