BARC Grows Community Partnerships
Events, Resources, Research to Help Those Touched by Autism Spectrum Disorders
One of the growing, prominent partnerships in the School of Education is found in the educational psychology department between the Baylor Autism Resource Center (BARC) and several area community agencies.
BARC provides direct services (in the form of social skills training) and resources (books, handouts, and materials) to children, parents, and professionals in the community who are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Several recent events highlight the university-community partnerships associated with BARC.
The educational psychology department, along with the Heart of Texas Autism Network and the ARC of McLennan County, co-sponsored the Second Annual Autism Awareness Walk held at Baylor University in April. The event welcomed more than 300 participants and raised more than $6,000 for local children and their families.
BARC also conducted the first Baylor Autism Summer Camp in June. Co-sponsored by the Children's Special Needs Network, the 20 slots filled quickly with children and teenagers from several communities in central Texas. The camp should become an annual event.
The research component of BARC is an important aspect. In conjunction with a family meeting of Children's Special Needs Network, data were collected from parents of children with special needs asking how they cope with challenging situations. The survey information was collected in Belton, Texas, in February and the results were presented at the National Association of School Psychologists conference in Boston, Mass. In return, Drs. Julie Ivey and Eric Robinson made several presentations to parents at the Children's Special Needs Network meeting in October.