The Baylor Autism Resource Center was opened in January 2008 thanks to a grant from the Waco Foundation and support from Baylor University. Dr. Julie Ivey, a professor at Baylor, is the founder and director of the center. Kristen Mainor, a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, serves as the coordinator.
The center serves Waco and the surrounding community. The center currently offers Social Circle groups aimed at improving social skills of children and teenagers that have ASD, provides resources to the community and disseminates information about research. As the center continues to grow, more services hope to be offered. Please see below more information on current and possible future services the center offers.
Social Circles - a project implemented by the Educational Psychology Department at Baylor. As most parents know, children and adolescents with developmental disabilities have difficulty making and keeping friends, decoding nonverbal communication, and coping with anxiety in social situations.
Social Circles are designed to provide a safe and encouraging environment in which to learn and practice social skills: improve communication abilities, increase confidence, enhance emotional learning, and foster relationship building. Each semester the BARC provides Social Circle groups that are facilitated by graduate students in the school psychology program. To participate in Social Circles, a $20 registration fee will be required at the time the application form is submitted and a $20 supply fee will be due at the first session. If we cannot accommodate your schedule, your application fee is fully refundable. Application fees are non-refundable once the sessions begin. If you would like to know more information about the Fall 2012 groups or to get on the list, please call 254-710-6222 or email email@example.com.
Collector of Resource Information - we currently have over two hundred books and several DVD's that are available to the community. These materials are housed in the Learning Resource Center and may be checked-out by community members. Also, the center has many fact and tip sheets about a variety of issues related to autism that are available for dissemination. See the "Center Resources" tab for more information.
Onging Research - several Baylor representatives are conducting research at this time. Please see the tab, "Current Research", for more information.
Psychological Assessment - The BARC is excited to now offer this wonderful service to families in the community. Graduate students in the School Psychology program will now conduct assessments under the direct supervision of an L.S.S.P. and licensed psychologist. The evaluation includes a full battery of cognitive, achievement, and social-emotional assessments, as well as an in-take interview, observation, and gathering information from those individuals who work closely with student. The cost of the assessment is very affordable for families and the center can also contract with local school districts.
Special Education Consultation and Advocacy services- Many parents often lack knowledge in special education law and their rights as a parent of a child with a disability. The BARC is seeking to address those concerns by helping parents to better understand services pertaining to individualized education plans (IEPs), behavior intervention plans (BIPs), Admission, Review, and Dismissal meetings (ARDs), along with other educational needs pertaining to the student.
Asperger Support Group- The BARC, in conjunction with the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA), provide a support group for college students with Asperger's Syndrome. The group is open to MCC, TSTC, and Baylor students. They meet weekly to discuss the academic and social issues they face as a student with a disability and work on developing strategies to improve their social and communication skills.
Possible Future Services:
Respite Care - The center is looking into providing childcare for children with ASD so that parents may have the option of having time alone or "downtime" to recuperate, see a movie, have dinner out, or spend time with their children who do not have ASD.
Learning Lab - As future funding for the center increases, it will be a goal for the center to be a learning lab for BU nursing students and school psychology graduate students (counseling, assessments, and consultation with families).
Experience for Future Educators - the center hopes to provide future educators information about the numerous services available to best serve children, practical experience working with children, provide a site for observation and offer training workshops of behavioral interventions to utilize in the classroom.
Specialized Training Workshops - will be offered for professionals in numerous fields (non-profit agencies, classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, medical personnel, etc.).