TIP 4 Projects

TIP-4: Autism service, education, research and training (ASERT)

Task Leader

Jamie Schutte, MS

Co-Investigator

Michael McCue, PhD

Collaborator

John McGonigle, PhD, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic

Overview

Autism Service, Education, Research, and Training (ASERT) is a collaborative network of providers of comprehensive, high-quality, state-of-the-art diagnostic assessments, research, education, and training programs for staff, clinicians, and families who serve and support individuals with ASD in Western Pennsylvania. The collaborative network consists of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), the Watson Institute, the Barber National Institute, the LEADERS Program of the Achievement Center, and Children’s Hospital of UPMC. Combined, these providers serve all 23 counties in the Western region of Pennsylvania. The focus of the network is to collaborate with service providers and parent groups in the region to enlarge the capacity to serve individuals with ASD and to build a cohesive network and service delivery system for individuals with ASD.

ASERT will provide technical and clinical resources to adopt our technologies. We plan to support ASERT in delivering services using the TR portal and VISYTER. TR services will include direct tele-assessment of patients and tele-consultation between an expert clinician at WPIC and clinicians in rural areas using an integrated VISYTER and TR portal. In addition to videoconferencing, the portal will support an online assessment using the Initial Evaluation Form (IEF). The IEF will be expanded and revised to make it ASD specific and will be used as a standard assessment across Western PA. We also plan to develop a consumer hub for the TR portal for parent groups of children with ASD. The consumer hub will also be made available to teachers and clinicians to educate them about ASD. The consumer hub will contain educational materials, including training videos filmed by national experts.

 


Project Update

2011

Autism Service, Education, Research, and Training (ASERT) is a collaborative network of providers of comprehensive, high-quality, state-of-the-art diagnostic assessments, research, education, and training programs for staff, clinicians, and families who serve and support individuals with ASD in Western Pennsylvania. The focus of the network is to collaborate with service providers and parent groups in the region to enlarge the capacity to serve individuals with ASD and to build a cohesive network and service delivery system for individuals with ASD. ASERT has used the RERC-TR's technologies in two projects – development of a remote Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) administration system and remote consultations for clinicians and clients with ASD.
A prototype for an integrated remote ADOS assessment system was developed. In July, 2010, IRB approval was obtained for a remote ADOS usability study. A usability study, in which five ADOS research-reliable clinicians performed a mock ADOS using the remote administration system and provided quantitative and qualitative feedback, was completed. Results of the usability study were presented at the 2011 American Telerehabilitation Conference in an individual oral presentation. In February and March, the information technology team modified the remote administration system based on the feedback solicited during usability study. An IRB for a within subject crossover design reliability study was approved on 5/18/2011.
VISyTER has also been used to facilitate remote consultations. Dr. John McGonigle, a behavioral psychologist who specializes in autism spectrum disorders, has been remotely connecting with participants in a cognitive skills enhancement program for clinical consultations and guest lecturers over the past year.

 


 

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