Understanding Autism Spectrum: Support and Education for Families

This project will fill a perceived need that CCE Suffolk has in parent education programming. The intern hired will work on researching and developing a program and related materials that provides support and education to families that are raising a child on the autism spectrum. The program will help parents and caregivers develop a greater understanding of children with autism and learn how to best support their child. Children on the autism spectrum vary in their behaviors, development, and needs and the program will help parents gain a greater understanding of what may help their child. If successful this project will result in a comprehensive educational program that will strengthen families, increase knowledge and understanding of autism spectrum disorder and provide support to those involved.

Roles and responsibilities 

The intern will be responsible for researching best practices in the field for supporting families with children on the autism spectrum. The intern will work on creating a program that provides research-based information about raising children on the spectrum, including supporting them, advocating for them, and working with them through developmental milestones. We anticipate that the intern will take ownership of all aspects of the program development, including research, creating teaching, promotional, and supporting materials, and designing an evaluation tool and training staff.

Additionally, the intern may assist with collaborating with local organizations and schools, particularly those that frequently work with and have programs for children on the autism spectrum, as well as developing social media resources, educational materials, and scripting and recording an original podcast.

Qualifications and previous coursework

This opportunity is available to students in Cornell University's College of Human Ecology.

Applicants should have completed coursework in Human Development. Ideally applicants will have an academic or personal interest and/or experience in working with families and children on the autism spectrum.

Learning outcomes 

The student intern will have the opportunity to learn the entire process of program development from research to evaluation. Additionally, the student intern will learn how to turn their research into relatable educational materials and hands on activities that parents and caregivers can use to apply in working with their families.