AIR-B Network Distributes COVID-19 Resources in English, Korean and Spanish for Families and Educators

January 21, 2021

The year 2020 was filled with unexpected changes to the whole world as well as to the Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health (AIR-B Network; PI: Kasari), which includes UCLA, UC Davis, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, Drexel University, University of Kansas, University of Washington, and each university site's community partners. Since 2008, the AIR-B Network has conducted research that aims to increase equity in access to effective interventions for children with ASD and hosted numerous events and presentations for under-resourced communities. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic led the research-community partnership to cancel its annual tradition looked forward to by many - the free autism conference for families taking place every March. Instead, the AIR-B partners - now meeting on Zoom instead of their monthly get-together at the Healthy African American Families office - decided to start an initiative to accommodate immediate needs of families struggling with distance learning.

The team spent several months developing the COVID-19 Resource Handbook for Parents and Teachers in English, Korean and Spanish. Research tools from past AIR-B projects, such as Building Better Bridges, an intervention that helps students with successful transition into kindergarten, middle and high school, were adapted to help prepare students ease back into school after the COVID-19 hiatus. Live instructions on how to use the materials and a Q&A session were held in webinars led by Connie Kasari, Ph.D. and research assistant Beth Donati (English), doctoral student researcher Soo Lee and Tom Chun from the nonprofit, Propel I Forward Alliance (Korean), and lab coordinator Consuelo Garcia and Brenda Martinez, a parent of a child with autism (Spanish). The webinar format allowed the AIR-B team to connect with parents, service providers and community members from many states as well as other countries, such as Korea, China, Italy and Romania. Although the pandemic has brought challenges, the AIR-B Network is adapting, and its partnership continues in the new normal.

The COVID-19 handbook and webinar recordings are available on


Transition Back to School Covid Resources in English, Korean and Spanish for Families and Educators