A University and Community Resource for Autistic Children and their Families

At University of Houston-Clear Lake's Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, we play a crucial role both in teaching future leaders in the field while supporting families and children who are affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the surrounding community. Our mission at the center is to support research on autism and developmental disabilities; train current and future professionals in the field of behavioral analysis; school psychology and marriage and family therapy; and provide services and resources to children and their families through partnerships with community organizations.

Tailoring the Treatment until the Child is Successful

A caring staff of therapists, graduate students and volunteers at UHCL's Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities see approximately 20 families a year that have children who struggle with behavioral aspects of autism that can be challenging and stressful to families, children and teachers. A staff member will first assess children to identify causes for the difficulties, and then tailor a treatment plan for each individual child to encourage more appropriate, successful behavior. As a significant component of each child’s treatment, we also teach parents how to implement these new behavioral strategies for their child.

Our Goals

  • To reduce problem behavior by 80-90 percent compared to pre-treatment. Treatment continues until success, as defined for each individual child, has been achieved.
  • To support research on autism and developmental disabilities
  • To train current and future professionals
  • To provide services to children and their families through partnerships with community organizations

Our Programs

  Autism Assessment Services

Graduate students in the School Psychology Program provide comprehensive evaluations for students on the autism spectrum under the supervision of faculty at the UHCL Psychological Services clinic. The evaluations are designed to identify the student's condition, describe functioning levels across several domains, and make recommendations for intervention based on student needs and research-based practices.

For more information, contact Dr. Gail Cheramie at cheramie@uhcl.edu

  Connecting to College

The Connecting to College program is designed to provide supports for UHCL students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and related needs.  

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  Focused Skills Intervention (Project ABA-SkIP)

Children receive individualized training designed to reduce problem behaviors and to develop age-appropriate social, self-help, school readiness, and language skills. Family members and caregivers also learn how to continue the training methods at home. Services are provided at the UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and in the community.

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  Group and Family Counseling
  The Graduate Family Therapy Program is teaming up with CADD to provide therapy services for couples, single parents, and siblings of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. These services will be focused on managing stress and relationship issues that often arise when caring for a child with special needs. Dr. Matt Brown will oversee these services and conduct ongoing research related to family needs and effective support. For more information please email to brownm@uhcl.edu or call (281) 283-3304.
  School Services  

Graduate students in the Behavior Analysis program provide services to children and teachers in Clear Creek, Pasadena, and Pearland Independent School Districts.

For more information, contact Dr. Dorothea Lerman at lerman@uhcl.edu

  Severe Behavior Disorders Research Clinic

This clinic offers assessment and treatment services to children of all ages who engage in severe problem behavior, such as self-injurious behavior, aggression, and property destruction. Services will be individualized and provided as part of ongoing studies designed to identify the most effective methods of reducing severe behavior disorders. Following the child's participation in research, families will receive training in effective behavior management strategies to use at home. Dr. Jennifer N. Fritz, BCBA-D is the director of the clinic and oversees all services. 

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  Verbal Behavior Clinic

The Verbal Behavior clinic provides empirically based individualized services to children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and their families.  These services include assessments, parent training, and the development of teaching procedures relating to language skills.   Graduate students in the Applied Behavior Master's program participate as the primary therapists, and each case is directly supervised by Dr. Sarah A. Lechago, BCBA-D, director of the clinic.  Social skills training, which often includes language skills, is also conducted in the clinic.  Services may also be provided in Spanish.  If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact Sarah Lechago at vbclinic@uhcl.edu.

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  Vocational Program  

The Vocational Skills Assessment and Training Program conducts assessments of skills critical to successful employment and provides individualized training of job-related skills.

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  • Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

    Phone: 281-283-3452
    Fax: 281-283-3510
    Email: autismcenter@uhcl.edu

    Arbor South
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 245
    Houston, TX 77058-1002