(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 UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium. The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus
Are you looking for career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math? Come to the SPRING 2015 STEM Career Fair. Recruiters from across the STEM fields will be present with full-time, part-time and/or internship opportunities. Professional dress is required. Bring plenty of resumes! Download the UTSA Career Fair Plus App on iOS and Android.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning (CACP) welcomes renowned architect Cesar Pelli as part of the CACP’s 2015-16 Speaker Series. Pelli is founder and Senior Principal of the New Haven, Conn. firm Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. In his talk, “Becoming an Architect,” Pelli will present and discuss projects that were critical steps in his career.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus
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Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus
The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Carlton-LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus
Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)
First-generation college student worked his way through college with 16-hour days
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