Our research

stack of papers

Project ATTAIN strives to better understand predictors of positive transition outcomes for young adults with autism. ATTAIN is a multi-year project, where in Year 1, our research team first gained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval then established a Subject Matter Expert (SME) Panel. This panel includes young adults with autism, policy makers, employers, educators, and family members of young adults with autism. Each of these panel members provide input into the development of our research measures and materials, and any tools developed based on our research.

Next, we reviewed the research literature on predictors, with a specific focus on studies that included young adults with autism in their samples. In Year 1, we also analyzed existing data from New York State PROMISE (Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income). New York State PROMISE was one of six model demonstration projects funded by the United States Department of Education dedicated to encouraging positive post-school outcomes for youth and their families receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), “a federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and provide cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter” (United States Social Security Administration, 2021).

Research manuscripts based on our work and findings from Year 1 are currently under development or are being review for publication.

Year Project Task Description
1 Analysis of Existing PROMISE Data Use rigorous research methods to analyze existing data from New York State PROMISE (Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income), a federally sponsored research initiative focused on removing obstacles to adult success for youth who receive Supplemental Security Income.
2 PROMISE Follow-Up Survey Create and administer a new survey for young adults who participated in PROMISE to better understand what predictors they experienced in high school and their outcomes now. Analyze survey data using rigorous research methods.
3 Longitudinal Nationally-Representative Survey Create and administer a nationally-representative longitudinal survey to better understand predictors of different outcomes for youth with autism. Analyze survey data using rigorous research methods.

In Year 2, our research team updated our literature review of predictors, developed a survey (that was tested by our SME panel), and submitted an IRB for approval of our survey in order to be able to administer it to prior PROMISE participants. Data from this survey will be cleaned, prepared for analysis, and analyzed.

Finally, Year 3 will involve similar steps to Year 2; however, we will use what we learn from our Year 2 survey to develop our Year 3 survey for a larger population of young adults with autism, not limited to those receiving SSI.