The ACHIEVE, which stands for Active Collaborative Hub for Individuals with ASD to Enhance Vocation and Education Group includes investigators and community stakeholders working together to develop and test community based interventions and services for adults and transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related disabilities to improve vocational and educational outcomes. ACHIEVE group members include researchers and representatives from key community stakeholder groups/systems as secondary and post-secondary education, state developmental disability services, mental health, vocational rehabilitation, community-based service providers, caregivers, and autistic adults.

ACHIEVE was established in 2013 and is directed by Dr. Mary Baker-Ericzén along with collaborators Dr. Caren Sax and Dr. Lauren Brookman-Frazee. The current roster of members includes over 75 individuals. Membership now extends beyond San Diego County to members across the state of California and a few members from other states in the US. Membership is always open with rolling enrollment. Contact Dr. Mary Baker-Ericzén at to enroll.


  • The prospect of caring for the increasing number of individuals with ASD as they transition to adulthood represents a “looming crisis of unprecedented magnitude”.1
  • Individuals with ASD are adults for significantly larger proportion of life compared to childhood with much time to continue to learn and develop skills.2
  • Services within the adult service system are severely lacking3 and employment and post-secondary education outcomes are extremely poor.4
  • Unemployment, underemployment and limited education are associated with a variety of negative outcomes for individuals as well as increased societal costs for long-term support.
  • Services for adults with ASD have been especially slow to be adopted for a variety of reasons:
    • lack of staff training in ASD across service sectors (vocational rehabilitation, post-secondary education, behavioral healthcare, primary healthcare etc.),
    • lack of coordinated service systems for this population,
    • time limited nature of many vocational and/or developmental disability services,
    • unique characteristics of ASD (e.g., cognitive and social impairments) that negatively impact functional, educational and vocational outcomes.


The ACHIEVE group is tasked to positively impact the community by developing, evaluating and disseminating evidence-based practices for the autistic transition age youth (TAY) and adults. To this end ACHIEVE has participated in a number of grant proposals, publications and presentations that are labeled as ACHIEVEments.

ACHIEVE has collaborated in the development of a number of evidence-based practices for TAY and adults with autism to enhance vocational and/or educational outcomes. The interventions to date include:

  • Employment SUCCESS
  • College SUCCESS
  • Transition Age Youth – TAY SUCCESS
  • Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Driving (CBID)