Adult Program

Adult Program

Promote Independence, Create Opportunities, and Maximize Quality of Life

The Koegel Autism Center offers a free, 4 hour per week, behavioral skills program to support autistic adults to improve their social skills and make social connections, improve time management and organizational skills, and build independent living skills.

The program is currently being offered in person (as of September 2021) following all Santa Barbara County health requirements for COVID-19. It is funded by the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and called Personal, Vocational, Social and Adjustment (PVSA) Services. The client meets with a graduate student for 1 hour per week and with an undergraduate Peer Mentor for 3 hours per week. The program is supervised by a licensed psychologist.

Eligibility:

  • Live locally in Santa Barbara Area
  • Have a documented diagnosis of Autism OR complete our “Are you a good fit for our program” 2-hour in-person screening that has a fee of $100. The screening does not provide a medical diagnosis of Autism but would provide access to the free service if the your goals fit with the program. 
  • Become a Consumer of the Department of Rehabilitation and meet their eligibility criteria (we can help facilitate this)
  • Ability to come to sessions at the Autism Center (with clinicians) and UCSB campus/community with Peer Mentors

Screening Process: For interested individuals who do not have a documented diagnosis of Autism but who suspect they are on the spectrum, we highly recommend that they seek a full evaluation. We offer full evaluations through our Assessment Clinic and can provide additional referrals. For those who want to see if they are eligible for our PVSA services and who do not have a diagnosis of Autism, we conduct a 2-hour in-person screening appointment where we work to understand the individual’s needs and potential areas of support along with goals. The screening process does not result in a diagnosis of any kind. The fee for the screening is $100. If determined eligible, you would be referred to the Department of Rehabilitation for their screening process in order to receive the free service.

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.

Note: For more information on our services, please contact Emily Ferguson at eferguson@ucsb.edu

Private pay option: This program is also available through a 1 hour per week private pay program for residents of California only.

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.

Peer Mentors

Each PVSA client is 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 Skill-Based Activities:

  • Support in social settings (e.g. Center-based clubs, campus and community events, etc.)
  • Modeling of social skills
  • Exploration of social communication strategies to connect with peers
  • Assistance with self-advocacy on campus and in the community
  • Assistance with structuring daily routines and managing time effectively
  • Support in independent living tasks

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

If you are a UCSB undergraduate student and you are interested in becoming a peer mentor, please contact: Maria Jimenez Munoz at mariajimenezmunoz@ucsb.edu for more information.