April is National Autism Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 68 American children were born with autism in 2014. The CDC also reports that Hispanic children are one of the fastest growing populations being diagnosed with autism. A recent study funded by the Kronkosky Foundation estimates that 1 in 79 people in San Antonio and the surrounding community are on the autism spectrum. UTSA offers initiatives to support children with autism through academics, research and community outreach.
UTSA faculty conduct top-tier research in areas that focuses on children with autism, including stimulus control ratios, referent-based verbal behavior instruction and ShaperSpace professional development. Most recently, a nearly $1 million grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is helping UTSA provide top-tier services and training to Texas teachers and military-affiliated parents who are caring for youth with autism. UTSA faculty also are routinely called upon to speak about autism at state, national and international conferences.
Students at UTSA take advantage of many different degree programs to help them better understand autism. The College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and graduate certificates in areas such as education, counseling, applied behavior analysis, and interdisciplinary learning and teaching.
The UTSA Teacher Education Autism Model (TEAM) Autism Research Center supports teachers working with children with autism, while providing low-cost services to Bexar County families in need of applied behavior analysis services. Students and faculty at the TEAM Autism Research Center apply the principles of behavior analysis to address the challenges of autism and related disorders through research, teaching and service.
Researchers at UTSA also have partnered with The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and the Autism Treatment Center (ATC) – San Antonio to form the San Antonio Applied Behavior Analysis (SAABA) Project. The project recently established an Autism Treatment Center clinic on-site at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. The center provides direct applied behavior analysis services to children with autism and developmental disorders, serves as a training ground for UTSA students, and helps educate parents and practitioners.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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