Psychology is the field that studies behavioral, emotional, mental aspects of being human—along with factors related to their normative as well as problematic development. As such, it is central to understanding, assessing, and treating autism and related disorders. The Center plays a national role in providing training for students of psychology at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, as well as for postdoctoral and professional specialty training. Numerous clinicians and research in psychology or other related mental health professions may trace their training lineage back to Marcus Autism Center.
Undergraduate students may obtain experience with assessment and treatment programs through limited observations or formal training positions in a volunteer trainee experience or for academic credit (coordinated through their home college or university) for a minimum of one academic term (fall, spring and/or summer). More information about each of these types of training can be found below. To apply for a position, students may visit the Undergraduate Practicum application page.
Graduate students seeking experience at the early or advance level may arrange practicum experiences with one of our assessment or treatment programs. Although availability may vary depending upon availability of supervisors’ time, generally graduate positions are available in the Core Characterization for Research, Feeding Disorders, Language & Learning, Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Center Psychodiagnostics, School Consultation and Severe Behavior Programs. For more information, please, see below, and visit the Graduate Practicum application page.
Psychology students at the Master’s or Doctoral level often seek the participation of our faculty members on thesis or dissertation committees. As an initial contact, they may email the training office.
Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology (APA-accredited)
Marcus Autism Center offers a nationally accredited internship in professional psychology, including a track emphasizing behavioral treatments and a track emphasizing diagnostic assessments. For more information, students in an APA-accredited doctoral psychology program may visit the online directory of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and our internship program page.
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Professional Psychology
Marcus Autism Center provides multiple postdoctoral fellow positions for individuals with a PhD or PsyD in clinical or school psychology. Application for these positions is coordinated through the Fellowship in Professional Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine.
Professional Continuing Education in Psychology
As an APA-approved sponsor of Continuing Education, Marcus Autism Center is committed to helping practicing professional psychologies reach and maintain competence in the area of autism and related disorders. A key part of the Center’s strategic plan addresses helping to assure that high quality services are made available outside the wall of the Center. For more information about upcoming workshops, consult our CE page. Learn more about upcoming Grand Rounds topics.
Intervention offered through the LLC is specifically designed to promote skill acquisition in the domains of social communication, adaptive daily living skills, pre-academic and academic skills, and social relationships. We also provide parent education and training throughout a child’s admission.
More information on the Language and Learning Clinic can be found here.
The Pediatric Feeding Disorders Clinic offers behavioral, nutritional, and oral motor therapy to assess and treat children who present with food refusal and food selectivity.
More information on the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Clinic can be found here.
Interventions offered through the Severe Behavior Program are designed to reduce problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, self-injury, property destruction, pica, etc.) that are causing a hardship for our clients and their families.
More information on the Severe Behavior Program can be found here.
Camp You B You Summer Day Camp is an intensive summer program designed specifically to support social skill development. Despite the variety of available summer camps for children, many are not equipped to manage minor disruptive behavior through supportive, empirically based methods. For these children and their families our goal is to provide intensive and specific programming for their children during the summer. To this end we have developed a summer recreational and social skills program. The methods of this program are based on the science of applied behavior analysis and incorporate reinforcement-based procedures, which are empirically supported methods that promote social and play skills development.
The Camp You B You Summer Day Camp was designed to serve school aged children experiencing difficulties in play and socialization. Our camp services are imbedded in more typical camp settings for an enriched camper experience in an inclusionary setting, to address acceptance and empathy among peers, and to provide support and instruction in a "real world" environment more similar to the community and educational settings these children are needing to navigate. MAC provides supportive instruction and intervention to Camp You B You campers focusing on teaching and reinforcing appropriate social/conversation skills, participation, and "sportsmanship" throughout the campers' day. Supervision can be provided by the licensed psychologist and/or certified behavior analysts.
The camps run for three full weeks in June; practicum students must be available for all three weeks, as well a training and organization activities prior to the first week of camp. Additional similar opportunities may be pursued at a related overnight camp, which is staffed and run by Camp Twin Lakes.
These same clinical programs also offer observational learning opportunities. Students are expected to observe treatment sessions and collect data on clients' and therapists' behaviors and assist therapists with pre- and post-session preparation. All observation/assistance in this type of limited practicum will take place behind a two-way mirror as the observational learning will not be trained in defensive techniques to avoid or minimize harm when a client exhibits aggressive and self-injurious behavior; therefore, direct client contact will be prohibited. Because the observational learner will not work directly with clients, it is not possible for our supervisors to provide letters of recommendation following this type of training.
These trainees must be enrolled in a psychology degree program at an accredited university and have completed one year of undergraduate study. Students in other programs of study may apply and be eligible at the discretion of the department. Basic knowledge of learning theory and developmental disabilities/autism spectrum disorders is preferred.
Hours are offered Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Clients attend the clinic every day from 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Must be at least 18 years of age. The observational learner practicum does not have a requirement for hours per week or number of months/semesters required.
David L. Jaquess, Ph.D., B.C.B.A.-D., Training Director
Marcus Autism Center is a subsidiary of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
1920 Briarcliff Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4010Operating hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
©2015 Marcus Autism Center