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A Rigorous, Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration

When 3LPlace began its work developing curriculum, we started by asking stakeholders: "Who are the best professionals and disciplines to involve in this curriculum development project?" We also sought to learn what process would be most effective for developing best practices curriculum given there is little to no research showing how maturing individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities are best able to learn.

Our initial interviews with stakeholders informed our rigorous approach. We would involve a multi-disciplinary group comprised of committed educators, researchers, clinicians, and therapists with expertise working with individuals with autism and related disorders. We would follow an iterative, summative development process that continues to solicit and incorporate feedback, as well as new material from the collaboration team as well as stakeholders. And, the 3LPlace Curriculum will become “best practice” through application, assessment and refinement by schools and other social service programs.

collaboration1.jpgEmory University in Atlanta, one of the world's leading research universities, has identified the 3LPlace Curriculum as "comprehensive" in a guide published by its School of Medicine Autism Center.  They wrote: "This project provides a framework for understanding the variation in functioning in individuals, the Curriculum enables educators and service providers to develop individualized goals, learning plans and supports that meet the unique needs of each individual."

With pride we present the incredible multi-disciplinary team that created and is sharing the 3LPlace Curriculum Project:

Tufts University, Department of Occupational Therapy. Occupational therapists have learned from experience and research that health is more than an individual’s bodily structure and function, is inseparable from the experience of well-being, and is emergent in healthful patterns of daily living that arise in one’s home and community. As a part of Tufts University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Occupational Therapy is ideally positioned to educate practitioners who can actively participate in and advance an interdisciplinary and collaborative paradigm for health and well-being.

Tufts University faculty members who have participated in the 3LPlace Curriculum Project include:

    • Gary Bedell, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Associate Professor. Research focus is to promote meaningful participation and quality of life for children and youth with disabling conditions across the lifespan.
    • Margaret L. Morris, OTD, OTR/L. Area of focus is service provision in public education and contextual services in public education.
    • Mary Alicia Barnes, OTR/L, Fieldwork Coordinator, Department of Occupational Therapy and co-author of Interdisciplinary Group Model; Groups: Applying Functional Group Modelcollaboration2.jpg


Jewish Family & Childrens Services (JF&CS). For over 150 years, JF&CS has been Greater Boston’s leading and trusted provider of comprehensive human services. JF&CS helps people of all faiths, races, and ages with the challenges of life. It serves 30,000 people each year in 80 communities in Greater Boston. JF&CS provides over 35 services and reaches out to new mothers, young families, people with disabilities, fragile elders, and the chronically poor.

JF&CS professionals who have participated in the 3LPlace Curriculum Project include:

    • Betsy Closs, MSW, Director for Services for People with Disabilities
    • Breanna Robinson, MSW, Director of Residential Services
    • Kelly Koomler, MEd, Director of Supervised Living Services
    • Robin Goodliss, OTR, Occupational Therapist, Services for People with Disabilities

Advisory Board for 3LPlace Curriculum. An expert advisory board of educational, clinical, and therapeutic professionals participated in an iterative review process whereby they examined and commented on each portion of the transition curriculum. These esteemed experts have donated their time to this project. Advisory Board members are:

    • Tal Baz, MS, OTR/L, Instructor, ASTRA Foundation, ICDL, Profectum
    • Shira Greenland, MSW, Director Sinai Schools High School for individuals with Developmental and Learning Disorders, Director, Sinai Special Needs Institute, Transitional Residences
    • Alexandra Harrison, MD, Pediatric/Adolescent, Adult Psychiatry, Assistant Professor Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
    • Cynthia Harrison, MS, Speech and Language Pathologist, ICDL, Profectum
    • Jan Hollenbeck, OTD, Transition Coordinator, Medford Public Schools
    • Karen Levine, PhD, Developmental Psychologist
    • Robert Naseef, PhD, Psychologist
    • Ann Neumeyer, MD, Neurologist, Medical Director, Lurie Family Autism Center, Massachusetts General Hospital
    • Monica G. Osgood, BA, Doctoral candidate, Executive Director, Celebrate the Children, Executive Director Profectum
    • Lori Jeanne Peloquin, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, University of Rochester School of Medicine
    • Ricki G. Robinson, MD, MPH, Pediatrician, Clinical Professor at University of Southern California School of Medicine, Autism Speaks Scientific Advisory Board, Author, Autism Solutions
    • Sally Savelle, MEd, MPA, Special Education and Clinical Psychology, ABD
    • Stephen Shore, EdD, Assistant Professor of Special Education, Adelphi University; autism consultant; author of Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome
    • Karen Shmukler, PhD, The Public Schools of Brookline, MA
    • Joshua D. Sparrow, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Supervisor Inpatient Psychiatry, Boston Children’s Hospital
    • David Stevens, EdD, Developmental Psychologist and Director for Research and Design, Symphony Learning
    • Lauren Weeks, PsyD, RDI Certified Consultant
    • Jim Wilbur, MEd, Director of Threshold Program, Lesley University

3LPlace Curriculum Project Team

    • Deborah Flaschen. Co-Director, responsible for collaboration and financial management and oversight.
    • Nancy Wiseman. Co-Director, content development, quality, and production.
    • Bob Rich. Writer and editor.
    • Elana Himmelfarb. Lead writer and concept developer.
    • June Peoples Mallon. Editor and communications strategies
    • Dave Nelson. Advisor, writer, and directed writing contributions by his team at The Community School.
    • Monica Osgood. Advisor, writer, and directed writing contributions by her team at Celebrate the Children school.
    • Constance Wauthier. Researcher.
    • Jennifer Corder. Researcher.