Autism center opens for services, university classroom experiences


Above, Dr. Kevin Callahan, President V. Lane Rawlins and benefactor Kristin Farmer at UNT's Kristin Farmer Autism Center ribbon cutting ceremony August 25, 2012.

UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center opened for services September 17 for full- and part-time educational and therapeutic services including Applied Behavior Analysis, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and physical therapy. The center also provides university training for UNT undergraduate students in the Introduction to Autism course within the Department of Behavior Analysis and utilizes video capture technology to remotely view all clinical rooms and classrooms in real time.

The center also partners with the department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation to provide collaborative community-based training on campus for recreational therapy activities and field experience placement for undergraduate students.  Two undergraduate students are serving internships at the center, and they will participate in all aspects of the center’s mission and will help develop and implement family-related procedures and training. Farmer

The center continues to expand its highly quality staff and will soon have nine full-time staff and four independent contractors to serve the community.

Many collaborative autism research proposals are underway. The departments of Educational Psychology (Autism Intervention Program), Rehabilitation, Social Work & Addictions and Mathematics submitted a grant to the National Science Foundation to investigate the effectiveness of intensive supports on the retention and performance of UNT’s students on the autism spectrum in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors. In collaboration with the UNT Health Science Center, Dr. Kevin Callahan and his team will submit a proposal to the National Institutes of Health to investigate motor skills in infants as a possible biomarker for early identification of autism spectrum disorders, and the impact of early intensive interventions on social-communication skills.

The North Texan alumni magazine stories: Power of Place: Kristin Farmer Autism Center and Kristin Farmer feature: Autism center opening joins UNT’s history of research, services