The Efficacy Study for Elementary Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (TESELA) is a research study funded by the US Department of Education that focuses on increasing teacher’s use of evidence-based practices for elementary students with ASD. TESELA builds on school and student strengths and incorporates evidence-based practices and strategies in order to assist students achieve their IEP goals and educational outcomes.

The study will compare the educational programming at TESELA sites to typical educational programming for students with ASD. Participating schools will be randomly selected to be in one of two groups: The TESELA group or the services as usual group.

  • Schools in the TESELA group will receive ongoing training, coaching, and materials from TESELA staff over the course of 12 months.
  • Schools in the services as usual group will follow their regular education programming for 12 months, will receive training and support in Goal Attainment Scaling, and will receive access to all TESELA resources at the end of the full study.

Benefits for Participating:

  • Schools:
    • Receive a written report and debrief from the APERS, an assessment of supports for students with ASD.
    • Receive support in planning for program quality improvement – TESELA intervention group only
    • Receive access to TESELA materials and resources
  • School staff:
    • Receive support in writing quality IEPs
    • Learn and refine their use of evidence-based approaches and techniques for working with students with ASD (and other learning needs)- TESELA intervention group only
    • Receive financial stipends for participating
  • Students:
    • Receive teaching and programming that targets their unique learning needs
    • Be better prepared for continuing in their educational program and preparation for middle school
  • Families:
    • Become partners in the TESELA process and in supporting their child
    • Receive financial stipends for completing questionnaires

For more information, download the TESELA brochure.

Interested in Participating?

Criteria for participation:

  • Elementary school in North Carolina
  • Have a range of students with ASD – from separate to fully included programs preferred
  • Have 8-12 students with ASD and who have IEPs
  • Have administrative support to participate.

If you meet the above criteria and would like to learn more about participating, please contact us at TESELA@unc.edu