Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA's Lee Mason is helping teens manage autism
(July 31, 2013) -- Meet Lee Mason. He's the visionary behind UTSA's autism center.
In January 2013, Mason opened the Teacher Education: Autism Model (TEAM) at the UTSA Downtown Campus. The center offers low-cost Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services to children and teens with autism. It also offers a controlled training environment for UTSA graduate students in special education, educational psychology and related fields who want to earn their ABA certification.
In San Antonio alone, an estimated 9,000 children and 21,000 adults live with an autism spectrum disorder. But, only 30 board-certified behavior analysts are available to serve them.
ABA, which is most effective in 20-40 hours-per-week doses, requires therapists to systematically apply interventions based upon principals of learning theory. The goal is to improve socially acceptable behaviors in individuals with autism.
Last spring, the TEAM center primarily worked with preschoolers.
This summer, Mason and his graduate students are working with teenage boys who have high-functioning autism. The teens are learning to manage their autism in challenging and uncomfortable social settings such as dating and new relationships.
Mason, an assistant professor in the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, says the social skills clinic has been a great learning experience for both students with autism and the UTSA graduate students providing ABA therapy.
"We are very happy with the success of the TEAM Center over the past two semesters, but we have a lot of work left to do," he says. "We already have more than 100 names of children in need of UTSA's services on our waiting list. We are also hoping to expand the TEAM center's services into the evening hours, which would benefit school-aged children with autism."
Do you know someone like Lee Mason, who is completely dedicated to San Antonio youth? Email us at email@example.com so we might consider your submission for the next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
The Roadrunner community and nearby residents are highly encouraged to cast their votes at UTSA, a designated early voting site for the March 3 Texas presidential primary election.H-E-B Student Union, Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), Main Campus
Join UTSA Honors College for "A Conversation With Shea Serrano", a San Antonio native, the author of three New York Times best sellers, and a current staff writer at The Ringer.Retama Auditorium, Student Union (SU 2.02.02), UTSA Main Campus
A 50-year perspective and special tribute to Sen. Joe Bernal. Discussions of UTSA's historical legal struggles led by Al Kaufman, Rosie Castro and Leticia Van de Putte.Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
UTSA Associate Professor Stephen Ackley, a specialist in sea ice, will discuss scientific explorations in Antarctica in the casual environment of San Antonio's Friendly Spot.The Friendly Spot, 943 S. Alamo St., San Antonio
Watching Neutron Stars: The NICER instrument onboard the ISS. Free and open to the public.Flawn Science Building (FLN 2.02.02), Main Campus
The best way to learn what UTSA has to offer is to experience it for yourself. Come to our Open House and see all that UTSA has to offer. The day features admissions and financial aid workshops and presentations, campus tours and much more.Various Locations, Main Campus
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in health care, you won’t want to miss UTSA’s 14th annual Health Professions Day. Meet with representatives of health professions programs at schools such as Texas Tech University Health Science Center, University of Texas Medical Branch, University North Texas Health Science Center, University of the Incarnate Word, and many more. Free and open to UTSA students, local area college and high school students, and community members.Student Union, Retama Galleria (SU First Floor Corridor), Main Campus