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In keeping with the College of Education's mission and commitment to outreach, and K-12 and community partnerships, the Auburn University Autism Center will extend its outreach capabilities and provide enhanced training for educators, families and health professionals in the state and region through Phase II developments.
This phase is building upon its long and successful collaborative partnership with Auburn City Schools to provide services for children consistent with national best practices. The center strives to help children and families coping with autism - a disorder estimated to affect one in 150 children nationally.
An Autism Center Task Force has guided the expansion and development of these programs. The task force includes parents of children with autism, Auburn City Schools professionals, Autism Center employees, and College of Education faculty and administrators.
The existing peer-model preschool for 3- to 5-year-olds will continue to operate within the partnership, but the classroom site will move from campus to an ACS elementary school. Auburn University faculty and graduate assistants will continue working with Auburn City School personnel to deliver the program. Additionally, the Autism Center will continue to meet the needs of children by partnering with school districts and agencies around the state to expand educational opportunities and services in the areas of classroom instruction, behavior management, assessment, assistive technology development, parent education and support.
While Phase I focused on these early childhood interventions, center programs are expanding to address the needs of young children, adolescents and high school graduates while also providing resources to families coping with autism, K-12 educators teaching children with autism, and researchers and academicians in the field working to better understand autism and train others to serve those with autism.
Phase I of the Autism Center took shape in 2003 as the fruits of a partnership between the College of Education and Auburn City Schools. Through its initial efforts at Yarbrough Elementary School, children with autism were partnered with "peer models'' - children their own ages who could model social and educational behaviors. As the Autism Center expanded its service scope, its programs and staff moved into the university's Dawson Building in order to centralize academic, outreach and partnership activities.
The Auburn University Autism Center is based within the College of Education's Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling/School Psychology (SERC).
Last Updated: May 17, 2011