Transformational community and education outreach

We know we can't see every child who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at our center. That’s why we've created outreach programs that train teachers, school leadership, doctors and families on how to care for kids with autism in their own communities.

Educational Outreach Program

The Educational Outreach Program at Marcus Autism Center bridges contemporary research in neuroscience with practical applications in the classroom to help children with or without vulnerabilities. We assist teachers in creating a positive learning environment that integrates social emotional learning into the curriculum to benefit the entire student population. We educate and inspire entire school communities by building sustainable change within their own education systems.

By training district and school staff, we’re able to help communities create sustainable leadership and coaching teams. These teams will ultimately deliver trainings and serve as mentors for school employees and families. This format helps school systems develop their own capacity for serving children with autism and other developmental disabilities, while also reducing the cost of longer-term reliance on outside expertise. 

Contact Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP, Director of the Educational Outreach Program, for more information.

Infant Toddler Community Outreach

The Marcus Autism Center Infant Toddler Community Outreach Program helps communities and providers better screen for and detect autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and provides supports and services to infants and toddlers who are at risk for autism. Early detection and intervention are crucial and can change the course of a child’s life. By empowering staff working directly in homes, day cares, schools, medical offices, and any other early childhood settings, we will give all children the chance they need to maximize their potential.

Our community-viable coaching and training model for providers bridges the gap between science and community practice. We work to empower early childhood and Part C providers with the knowledge and skills needed to coach caregivers on supports and strategies to enhance their child’s early communication skills and social development. 

Contact Jennifer Stapel-Wax, PsyD, Director of the Infant Toddler Community Outreach Program, for more information.

School Consultation Program

Marcus Autism Center's School Consultation Program provides consultation, direct assistance and training for school systems to better serve students with educational needs and behavioral issues, especially those diagnosed with autism and related disorders. All school consultants are Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) who provide a variety of behavior analytic services within the school setting aimed at both increasing students’ appropriate skills and decreasing problem behaviors. 

  • Consultation services
    • We provide consultation to teachers and school staff to help guide their classroom services. We focus on increasing teachers' skills and knowledge in working with students who have autism and related disorders. Consultation services include, but are not limited to:
      • Arranging the classroom environment and creating schedules to increase efficiency for both staff and students
      • Monitoring student’s progress and staff’s integrity when implementing behavioral programming
      • Assisting school staff with individualized education plan (IEP) preparation and attending IEP meetings
      • Assisting school staff in recording and interpreting data for educational and behavioral programming
    • We consult classroom staff to design intervention strategies and develop case-specific solutions to complex problems that can be generalized for all students.
  • Direct services
    • We consult with school staff to develop educational and behavioral programming for identified students.  We provide the necessary training to give teachers the tools they need to help their students maximize education goals. Direct services include, but are not limited to:
      • Behavioral or academic assessments, such as interviews, observations, functional behavior assessments (FBAs), assessment of basic language and learning skills - revised (ABLLS-R) and assessment of functional living skills (AFLS)
      • Implementation of academic or behavioral interventions, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) teaching methods, toilet training and social skills training
      • Hands-on training of individual school staff members
      • Data collection for assessment or intervention evaluation
  • Training services
    • We provide training based on the needs of the school. Training often focuses on the topics below, but can include a variety of behavioral and educational topics relevant to individual students or all students. Training services include, but are not limited to:
      • Understanding autism spectrum disorder
      • Applied behavior analysis (ABA) and verbal behavior teaching methods
      • Use and administration of skills assessments, such as ABLLS-R and AFLS
      • Behavioral management, behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention
      • Classroom setup for effective behavioral management and increased academic engagement
      • Positive behavioral supports
    • Training services are available for students with autism and related disorders, but can also be more broadly applicable to assist with more effectively managing the behavioral or developmental issues among other students.
  • Model classroom services
    • These services are provided as a three-year 'train the trainer' model. Model classrooms include assessment and program development for up to eight children in a classroom with a teacher and at least two paraprofessionals. Teachers and paraprofessionals assigned to the model classroom attend a five-day training over the summer, typically during pre-planning. Topics include but are not limited to:
      • Introduction to ABA in education
      • Classroom setup and scheduling
      • Use and administration of ABLLS and/or AFLS
      • Effective program development
      • Functions of behavior, behavior management and behavior intervention
      • Data collection and analysis
    • Intensive consultation and training for classroom staff continues until they are able to implement all procedures consistently. The level of consultation then decreases each year as the independence of the staff increases.

Contact Lisa Cymbor, MA, BCBA, Program Manager of the School Consultation Program, or call 404-785-6852 for more information.