The mission of the Radford University Autism Center is to serve as a resource for:
- individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
- speech-language pathologists and other professionals working with children and adults with autism
- researchers studying autism spectrum disorders
- undergraduate and graduate students interested in a future career working with individuals with ASD
The main goal for the Autism Center is to provide families, professionals and students with access to state-of-the-art clinical services and evidence-based resources to improve the quality of the lives of children and adults with ASD. The center has three key priorities: research, clinical service provision, and community outreach.
One of the objectives of the center is to continue an active clinical research program focused on contributing to the literature on evidence-based practice. Research by faculty and students includes addressing the effectiveness of family-centered models of service delivery, perspectives of families of children with ASD on assessment and intervention approaches, strategies for effective counseling with families, and the instruction in nonverbal communication with individuals with ASD.
Clinical Service Delivery
The center provides assessments and therapy for children and adults with ASD using an interdisciplinary approach. Currently, faculty collaborate with professionals from music, dance, and psychology to provide comprehensive evaluations and intervention services. The center provides customized assessments and intervention (e.g., individual, and/or group therapy) to address clients’ specific needs.
Since 2008, a unique intensive autism summer camp has been held for children with ASD. Their families, including siblings, parents, and grandparents have played integral roles in learning more about ASD, participating in activities, and learning key strategies to continue the intervention plan following the completion of the summer program.
The final area of concentration for the Radford University Autism Center is community outreach. In addition to serving as a resource for parents, teachers, and other professionals working with children and adults with autism, the center uses innovative methods of service delivery (e.g., telecommunications) to reach children and adults in rural areas in Southwest Virginia.