The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) has assisted with or sponsored several research studies related to autism services in Texas. These studies are described below. These documents are in PDF format unless otherwise noted.
Autism Resource Center Feasibility Study
Assisted by DADS, the Texas Council on Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (TCAPDD) sponsored a feasibility study to evaluate various operational structures and funding scenarios for an autism resource center in Texas. The study, released in February 2009, looked at how several other states had implemented similar centers and made specific recommendations for a center in Texas. This study continues to guide DADS staff in planning matters related to the Texas Autism Research & Resource Center (TARRC).
Website Focus Group Research
Prior to beginning development of the TARRC website, DADS designed and contracted for focus group research. Ninety-six stakeholders, representing various groups of potential website users, participated in seven focus groups across the state in July 2010. Participants were asked what they desired in terms of website content and how the website should look. Valuable insights and ideas were gathered and used in developing this website.
Services for Adults with Autism Study
In addition to creating an autism resource center for Texas, House Bill 1574 (81st Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2009) directed a study to determine the costs and benefits of initiating a pilot program to provide services to adults with autism and other related disabilities with similar support needs. DADS, with funding support from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the TCAPDD, contracted for a research study in February 2010. Completed and distributed to state leadership in September 2010, the report recommended three possible pilot projects to enhance services to adults, each with different service features and implementation costs. DADS will work closely with the 82nd Legislature (2011) should it elect to evaluate the pilot project options presented in the study.
Service Delivery Innovations for Autism Spectrum Disorders Project
The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research at Texas Tech University was selected by DADS on behalf of the TCAPDD to survey parents, caregivers and professionals about their familiarity with and perceived helpfulness of interventions for children and youth who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As part of this study, the Burkhart Center conducted a comprehensive review of ASD literature and created a categorized directory of interventions for ASD.
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders in Texas Report
This Texas Center for Disability Studies report, developed for the TCAPDD, presents an objective, research-based understanding of three important issues related to autism: the prevalence of ASD, diagnostic practices and strategies to establish a tracking system in Texas.
Updated: August 2, 2011