Adult Program

DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION & PEER MENTOR PROGRAM

Partnerships to promote independence, create opportunities, and maximize quality of life

Please note that due to COVID-19 precautions, the Department of Rehabilitation Funded Adult Services Program is currently offered online using a secure, encrypted (HIPAA compliant) platform. Clinicians and peer mentors are also able to conduct sessions over the phone although video based calls are preferred.

Eligibility includes:
18 years of age or older
Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Becoming a Consumer of the Santa Barbara County Department of Rehabilitation (requires that the individual live in Santa Barbara or is a student at a local university)

Adult Services Program (PVSA): The Koegel Autism Center is authorized by the CA State Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) to provide Personal, Vocational, Social and Adjustment (PVSA) services, a free service for our qualifying clients. To qualify for these services, you must have a documented diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (see below for information about our diagnostic screenings) and be a registered consumer with the Department of Rehabilitation. If you are not currently registered with the Department of Rehabilitation, we can assist you.

Goals of PVSA Services:

  • PVSA services are designed to help adults with autism achieve their personal goals and to be successful in higher education and employment settings.
  • We aim to individualize our services to each client’s unique needs and preferences.
  • Example client goals: improving social communication, developing social connections within the workplace or the campus community, improving organization and time management skills, academics, and/or independent living skills related to successful outcomes.
  • PVSA services can provide support in either obtaining or maintaining a job.

Program Format: PVSA services are generally provided on a 1:1 basis for approximately 4 hours per week. This includes 1-hour weekly sessions with a doctoral student clinician as well as weekly meetings with Peer Mentors (described in more detail below). Clients meet with their peer mentors an average of 2-3 times per week.

Diagnostic Screenings: We offer free Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnostic screenings to individuals who are interested in obtaining our DOR funded adult services, but are unsure if they qualify for an autism diagnosis. Screenings help us to determine whether the DOR program is a good fit for their individual needs. They typically last between 60 and 90 minutes, and a brief feedback (via phone call or in person) is provided to discuss findings of results and provision of referrals if necessary.

Note: Due to COVID-19 precautions, we are not currently scheduling diagnostic screenings. If you would like to be contacted when we begin to offer them again, please contact Emily Ferguson at eferguson@ucsb.edu. If you are interested in a more comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, please contact autism@ucsb.edu for more information about our Assessment Clinic.

Peer Mentor Component

PVSA Clients are matched with a peer mentor who is an undergraduate at UCSB. We strive to match our clients and peer mentors based on mutual interests and personality characteristics. Peer mentors provide assistance with developing or practicing target skills out in the community environment. Sessions with Peer Mentors may include the following:

Examples of Remote Peer Mentor Activities:

  • Support in virtual social settings (e.g. Center-based virtual clubs, etc)
  • Assistance with structuring daily routines
  • Support in independent living tasks
  • Exploration of online social communication strategies to connect with peers
  • Modeling of online social skills

Examples of In-person Peer Mentor Activities:

  • Fun social activities like dining in local restaurants, going to the beach, etc.
  • Support in social settings (club meetings, dorm events, sports)
  • Study hours on campus

If you are interested in the Department of Rehabilitation PVSA Adult Services please fill out your information here! You will then be contacted for a phone screen.

Contact: Emily Ferguson at eferguson@ucsb.edu for more information on how to obtain PVSA services.

Private pay option: This program is also available through private pay for residents of California only.

If you are a UCSB undergraduate student and you are interested in becoming a peer mentor, please contact: Anthony Osuna at aosuna@ucsb.edu for more information.