Community-Based Self-Determination to Enhance Goal Setting and Attainment Targeting Employment, Postsecondary Education, Community Participation, and Physical Health Outcomes

Institution: Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities Department of Special Education, University of Kansas

Project Overview

Dr. Sheida K. Raley’s AIR-P Scholars Final Report discusses the Self-Advocacy and Goal Attainment (SAGA) Project, which addresses the need for effective transition interventions for autistic adolescents. This project is crucial as it aims to enhance self-determination and facilitate better adult outcomes in employment, education, and community involvement.

The SAGA Project piloted the use of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) tailored for autism—SDLMI-Autism—as a community-based lifestyle intervention. The study's objectives included examining the intervention's impact on self-determination, executive
processes, and health outcomes.

The preliminary results indicate that SDLMI-Autism can be feasibly implemented in community settings. The ongoing quantitative analysis will further elucidate its effects on self-determination, executive functioning, and physical and mental health.

The SAGA Project’s initial findings are promising, suggesting potential for the SDLMI-Autism intervention to support autistic adolescents in goal-setting and achievement. This work lays the foundation for a larger scale study that could substantiate the SDLMI-Autism’s effectiveness in fostering better transition outcomes for autistic youth.

Project Mentors and Contributors

Dr. Karrie A. Shogren, Dr. Evan E. Dean, Ben Edwards