(Jan. 24, 2013) -- The UTSA College of Education and Human Development announces a new center focused on addressing the needs of children with autism. The new Teacher Education Autism Model (TEAM) Center will support teachers working with children with autism, while providing low-cost services to Bexar County families in need of applied behavior analysis services.
The overarching goal of the TEAM Center is to increase the number of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) serving greater San Antonio. In addition to providing applied behavior analysis therapy to children with autism and their families, the TEAM Center will provide to pre-services teachers the opportunity to work directly with students with autism and will serve as a research laboratory for determining effective teaching practices.
>> UTSA will celebrate the launch of the TEAM Center at an open house from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24 in Durango Building Room 0.220 at the UTSA Downtown Campus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 88 American children had autism in 2012. This equates to roughly 730,000 children across the nation and nearly 30,000 children in Texas, a 400-percent increase over the last 10 years. In San Antonio, 2,602 students received special education services for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) during the 2010-2011 school year. Hispanics currently account for the fastest-growing ASD population.
Pediatricians and other physicians can generally diagnose autism by a child's third birthday. While children with autism can be either low- or high-functioning, most children with autism display communication skill deficits, social skill deficits, and restricted and repeated interests. Forty percent of children with autism spectrum disorders never learn to talk, while 46 percent do not finish high school.
An autism diagnosis can prove very costly. While insurance often covers some treatment, families can generate up to $2.3 million in treatment costs over the lifetime of an individual with autism.
"Aside from a handful of great centers that generally serve military families on the North Side, it is difficult for Bexar County families to find affordable services to help children with autism," said Lee Mason, UTSA assistant professor of special education. "It is our hope that the TEAM Center will ease the burden for local families who are seeking early intensive behavioral intervention for their children."
The TEAM Center is designed to work like a teaching hospital, providing low-cost Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services to children up to age five with the goal of improving their learning outcomes. Applied Behavioral Analysis is a scientifically valid method shown to support children with a variety of autism spectrum disorders. UTSA graduate students in special education will offer the ABA services with oversight from faculty in the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching.
Children with autism who receive services from the TEAM Center will receive a functional behavioral assessment and a verbal behavior screening that will allow UTSA graduate students to develop individualized, semester-long plans to address the specific needs of each child. Throughout the semester, the children will receive up to seven-and-a-half hours of ABA therapy, five times per week in 90-minute sessions. UTSA also will work with the parents and guardians of the children. At the end of the semester, the progress of each child will be evaluated and the participants will be discharged from the program.
Aspiring Board Certified Behavioral Analysts must complete 1,500 hours of field experience and pass the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst Exam before they can practice in the field independently. While working in the TEAM Center, UTSA graduate students will take a series of courses to prepare them to enter the field, the first such sequence of courses approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board at a San Antonio university or college.
UTSA is now enrolling children for the spring 2013 semester. Families interested in receiving services for their children in the TEAM classroom, should visit the UTSA TEAM website. Additionally, the center will offer trainings to provide teachers with the tools they need to successfully work with their students with autism. Teachers should watch the UTSA TEAM website for details.
The TEAM Center was developed in larger part by UTSA faculty Lee Mason and Maria Kaylor. Mason is a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA-D) whose research expertise focuses on children with autism. An associate professor, Kaylor specializes in the preparation of beginning special education teachers. Impact San Antonio has provided initial funding to support the launch of this center.
The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus
Join the College of Education and Human Development's Center for Educational Leadership, Policy and Professional Development for a discussion about what passed and what didn't in the last legislative session and what it means for Bexar County Public Schools.
Durango Building Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Main Campus
Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus
Kickstart your career as an entrepreneur at The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) Technology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.
Business Building, Richard S. Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, in partnership with AIA San Antonio’s Latinos in Architecture, presents architect Andrés Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an architectural practice dually based in New York and Madrid.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
Looking for a good read? Shop for yourself or for gifts and help change a life at the same time. Browse and buy children’s stories, novels and more at the 2015 SECC Book Sale.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus
The UTSA Music Department presents Emmy-award winning Composer Larry Groupe. Groupe has composed music for films such as "The Contender," "Straw Dogs" and "Miami Vice," and TV shows such as "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Ren and Stimpy" and "American Gladiators." Lecture is free and open to the public.
Arts Building (2.03.15-18), Main Campus
Kristen Rosen is developing technology to help breast cancer patients’ quality of life
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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