ASD Roadmap

ASD Roadmap - 2011---

Other strategies to help agencies improve implementation to close gaps

Key Elements

A comprehensive approach

To my knowledge, my 2013 review is the first attempt to characterize the complex nature of - and relationships between -  critical elements of program development for agencies serving people on the spectrum: services, training, research, policy, advocacy. and infrastructure.  Our best opportunities to use research to close the gaps in community-based practice in a meaningful way requires a coordinated orchestration of services, training, research, policy, advocacy, and infrastructure.

Related Content

On this site

  • You cannot develop new services at the scale needed without a shift in the training infrastructure.
  • Making services broadly accessible usually depends on policy changes to public funding.
  • Research that does not address methods applicable to community settings will probably have little impact.

I look at all of these elements together, to help identify the most immediate opportunities based on the the knowledge, expertise, resources, and infrastructure that exists or that could be developed.  I am especially interested in coordinating these elements to reach traditionally underserved groups, or to demonstrate how to scale up services and supports over time.

Across sectors and disciplines

My work involves designing and delivering programs across sectors and disciplines: a hospital or a specialized school seeking to develop new services, a university hoping to create a new program of training or community-based research, a state agency seeking a more coordinated approach, an advocacy organization setting and then acting on a policy agenda, and so on.

A broad range of professionals and agencies can contribute to closing the gap by improving implementation, as described in my 2013 book.  This includes medicine, education, advocacy, and community / behavioral support. If I do not have direct experience with the specific discipline or kind of initiative under consideration, I can help to articulate and evaluate the best options from those with more content expertise.

I am especially interested in initiatives that seek to build collaboration across disciplines,  across domains of health and education, and between government, university, and community-based settings. The experience of many leaders is restricted to one or two disciplines, one sector, or even a single agency; in such cases they lack the breadth of experience to envision the full range of options.

Tailored  levels of support

I tailor the level of support that I offer to the goals and resources of each agency.

I may help some agencies discover resources they might use to develop and implement their own plan for program development. In addition to the ideas and resources you may discover on this website. I strive to stay up-to-date information about innovative service, training, research, and policy initiatives, and am always interested in new programs. In these cases, I might simply direct you to specific resources, or I can set up a web-meeting and provide a more detailed and comprehensive overview of the information and resources specific to your needs.

I can also design a program suited to an agency's needs. I can provide comments, feedback, and direction to all manner of written documents: program descriptions; training curricula, presentations, or manuals; conference presentations; research articles; grant applications; guidelines, bylaws, or regulations; and many others. I can also help to draft many of these products.  I can supplement this work with on-site visits to provide direct observations, facilitate specific workgroups or a strategic planning process, and present to you and to others the information you need to choose the best path.

I can also help to direct a program provide more intense, ongoing guidance. This may be as simple as teaching a course to your students or delivering a more comprehensive training program to your staff or parents. I can participate in or lead ongoing on-site or web meetings to provide direction or oversight during the project's development.  I can conduct comprehensive program evaluations.  In some cases, I can offer operational support (e.g.,  helping to identify, hire, and supervise staff, etc); and many other services, perhaps as an interim leader.

This option can be helpful during start up or leadership transition phase.  The amount of work at these times can over-tax a new leader, or even more experienced leader brought in to revive a struggling program. I offer another set of eyes to help a new leader or board of directors chart a new course, and another pair of hands to accomplish the work on the ground. My unique experience working across different kinds of setting can be especially useful for agencies looking to creating collaborative programs or networks.

Areas of focus for agencies providing services

Examples surrounding three central themes illustrate strategies I have used to close these gaps:

  • Accurate and timely identification is essential to accessing ASD-specific services and the early and intense intervention universally acknowledged as critical to long-term success
  • Behavior support is important given that challenging behavior is the single factor most likely to lead placement in specialized, expensive, and restrictive  programs
  • Specialized schools and other programs strive for Comprehensive programming that matches a broad set of goals to powerful methods, delivered by a team with a a shared vision shaped with advocates.

The logo is adapted from Joaquim Alves Gaspar's drawing of Pedro Reinel's compass rose.