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About Us

The Clinic for Autism Research, Evaluation and Support (CARES)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurological and brain disorder that affects social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviors. Such deficits create formidable barriers to learning and independent functioning for the individuals with the disorder, and significant challenges for their families, teachers, and communities. Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience. People of all genders, races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds can be diagnosed with ASD. Although ASD can be a lifelong disorder, treatments and services can improve a person’s symptoms and daily functioning.

In response to these challenges, the College of Education established the Clinic for Autism Research, Evaluation, and Support (CARES) to provide multiple services for individuals with autism and their families, while training school and agency personnel to apply research-based practices. Services include diagnostic assessment and evaluation, clinic and home based educational programs founded in applied behavior analysis (ABA), social skills groups, job-coaching, functional behavior assessments, behavior intervention planning, consultations, and leisure skills training through our very popular summer camp.

School Psychology faculty and students conduct the diagnostics; Special Education faculty and students provide the educational services; Exercise Sports Science faculty with psychology and other students supervise activity in the summer camp.

Related to the service and training components of CARES are various exciting research projects related to diagnostics, special education strategies, applied behavior analysis applications, and motor learning. Through quality services, personnel training and research, CARES staff strives to inform the field and enhance the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families.