The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Donahue Institute

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UMass Donahue Institute selected to study "Options for Children with Autism"

Following a competitive-bid process, the UMass Donahue Institute has been selected by the DOE to conduct a one-year study of the "Options for Children with Autism" initiative, which provides grants to 26 school districts. As part of its oversight and assessment of the grants, the DOE's Early Learning Services has developed surveys to measure knowledge of a range of issues related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) at the family, school, and community levels.

In the first phase of the contract, the Institute will develop a database to manage the surveys and conduct comprehensive data management and analysis of results. The Institute will prepare a statewide report as well as individual district-level summaries. In the project's second phase, focus groups will be conducted in each of the districts in order to probe deeper into specific issues of interest and concern to the DOE that may surface through the survey analysis.

It is expected that this study will provide guidance for ongoing professional development and training among the grantees, and may serve as a baseline for later assessment of changes in levels of knowledge among these target groups.

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UMass Donahue Institute

University of Massachusetts Amherst

100 Venture Way, Suite 9

Hadley, Massachusetts 01035

(413) 545-0001

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