(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 CACP 2016-2017 Speaker Series continues with architect and writer Jason Griffiths of the University of Arizona and Jason Griffiths Architecture. His practice is based on a multidisciplinary approach.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Auditorium (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
UTSA's Department of Music hosts Dr. David Huron from Ohio State University as part of the Donald Hodges lecture series. Huron is a Canadian arts and humanities distinguished professor at Ohio State University.
John Peace Library, UTSA Faculty Center, (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The UTSA community is encouraged to donate blood and save a life. Donors will also receive a free t-shirt.
H-E-B University Center parking lot, Main Campus
Dr. Stephanie Westney (violin) presents a concert of Mozart compositions as performed by herself and other talented musicians from the university and surrounding area. This concert is free and open to the public.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
The Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion annually hosts a Volunteer Opportunities Fair to allow students, faculty and staff to learn about volunteer and service-learning opportunities in the San Antonio area.
University Center, 1st floor corridor, Main Campus
Join the conversation about the experiences of military-connected families in transition. Free parking in the Cattleman Square (along Buena Vista Street). The event is free and open to the public.
Frio Street Building, Riklin Auditorium (FS 1.406), Downtown Campus
School district superintendents and other district leaders responsible for bilingual and ESL programs' administration and accountability learn about cultural literacy, language, and diversity in the community.
Recruiters from across the STEM fields will be present with full-time, part-time and/or internship opportunities. Dress professional and bring plenty of resumes.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Recruiters from across all fields looking to hire students with all different majors will be present at this event looking to hire for their full-time and/or internship opportunities. Professional dress is required. Bring plenty of resumes.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
The Civic Engagement Summit is an opportunity to celebrate and showcase UTSA's commitment to civic engagement through a myriad of efforts by students, faculty and staff, highlighting the significant ways the university impacts the local community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
The Department of Demography presents Dr. Rodolfo Cruz Peñeiro of El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. His presentation is titled "Changes in the Migratory Dynamics of the Northern Mexican Border." This event is free and open to the public.
Monterrey Bldg., (MNT 3.240), UTSA Downtown Campus
Grab your friends, family, kids and dog for this annual fun run on the UTSA Main Campus benefititng the UTSA Alumni Association.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
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