The Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health (AIR-B) is a network of researchers seeking to advance evidence-based behavioral treatments for children with autism spectrum disorders, particularly those in underserved and minority communities. We currently have two projects looking at ways to help parents whose children have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and are living in low-resource communities (1) learn more about ASD and the service system; and (2) participate more successfully in their children’s school transitions.

MIND The Gap ProjectThe Mind the Gap study will provide education to parents/primary caregivers with limited access to resources that have a young (ages 2-6) child diagnosed with autism. Participants will receive access to resources and information about ASD and the service system, with the goal of providing support to the family before their child has begun receiving autism-specific services.

Criteria: Parents of children with ASD ages 2-6 with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder who is not yet receiving autism services and is not on a waiting list for behavior based services (ABA).

If you are an interested family or have family permission to refer to the study team please complete this on-line referral form »

Contact: Amber Fitzgerald at 916-703-0338 or


The Building Better Bridges study will provide education to parents with limited access to resources that have a child diagnosed with autism transitioning to Kindergarten, Middle School or High School. Participating parents and teacher will receive access to resources and information that will help them learn about transitioning to a new school. We hope the project will help parents participate in transition planning and understand the transition process. Parents are enrolled through participating teachers.

Criteria:  Parents of children with ASD transitioning from preschool to kindergarten, elementary to middle school or middle school to high school. If you are an interested family, teacher or school district:

Contact: Amber Fitzgerald at 916-703-0338 or


This study aims to explore how screening and surveillance helps children with autism in the long run. Results from this study will empower providers with evidence-based procedures to detect ASD, optimize care for patients, and improve long-term outcomes.


We are now enrolling primary care providers that care for toddlers within a 30-minute drive of UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, CA, Drexel University/30th Street Station Philadelphia, and University of Connecticut (Storrs). This study is part of Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) Network, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

CONTACT: Deeniece Hatten, or 916-703-0468

Recruitment Flyer »


Schools and mental health programs are faced with the challenge of serving growing numbers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). With the annual cost of ASD in the U.S. estimated to be $236 billion, developing and testing effective ways to scale up use of evidence-based treatments for ASD is critical.


To improve provider training in evidence based treatments. Two coordinated studies will test ways to support providers in their learning and delivery of ASD treatments. Study #1 will test the TEAMS model with An Individualized Mental Health Intervention for ASD (AIM HI) in publicly-funded outpatient and school-based mental health services. Study #2 will test TEAMS with Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching (CPRT) in classrooms.  The TEAMS model includes – TEAMS Leadership Institute (TLI) and TEAMS Individualized Provider Strategy for training (TIPS). Both studies will be conducted in San Diego, Sacramento, and Los Angeles counties.


Mental health programs and school districts are invited to participate in this voluntary study and will be randomized to receive different components of TEAMS. Leaders and Providers (mental health therapists or teachers) from participating districts/programs can participate; all participating providers will receive free training and coaching/consultation in AIM HI or CPRT over 6-10 months.


The Autism Inclusion Study is CURRENTLY ENROLLING general education teachers. We are interested in gaining more information regarding the experiences of general education teachers including students with autism in high-poverty, low-resource elementary schools. We aim to learn about the strategies teachers use to support inclusion of students with autism as well as the barriers to inclusive education in low-resource schools. Teachers will fill out a few brief surveys and then participate in a 45-minute virtual focus group via Zoom technology.

To participate, general education teachers must:

  1. currently teach in a California elementary school where at least 50% of students receive free/reduced lunch
  2. be the lead teacher in a general education classroom
  3. have at least one student with autism who receives instruction in the general education classroom at least 50% of the time

Contact: Kelsey Oliver at

Recruitment Flyer »

Other Opportunities

Throughout the year, the Collaborative START Lab occasionally has opportunities for local families (generally with children under the age of 5) to participate in program activities including staff, student, and community trainings and workshops.  Please contact us if you would like information about upcoming events or would like to be placed on a list of interested families.


Contact: Sarah Dufek at 916-703-0239 or