Autism Pathways

THE CHALLENGE

The number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the United States has grown from 1 in 150 to 1 in 68 over the last decade.

Yet services for people with autism remain fragmented, not nearly enough professionals are qualified to deliver these services, and there is still much to learn about the causes of autism and which services lead to the best outcomes.

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$6M
Phase 1 Goal
For more information or to learn about getting involved, please contact:
Kelly Reinhardt
(434) 243-1962
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THE OPPORTUNITY

The Curry School prepares professionals to serve people with autism in four key areas—special education, speech communication disorders, clinical psychology and kinesiology (the science of human movement); in addition, at least 36 other faculty members across UVA pursue autism related research and service.

THE STRATEGY

The Curry School envisions combining all of these resources to create a UVA Center for Autism, positioning UVA as a national leader in autism research, coordinated care, and teacher and clinical professional preparation. Curry will leverage its existing relationships with schools, its education and clinical expertise, and its experience with field-based and applied research to develop a comprehensive, community-focused autism center. With the capacity to facilitate external partnerships, both regionally and nationally, the center will also make the most of research and treatment breakthroughs. The University of Virginia is poised to develop national models of care while providing the highest level of resources to Virginia families.

Two phases will lead to the creation of this UVA Center for Autism.

  • Phase 1

    In phase one, the Curry School will build upon its strengths and successes in four interrelated areas: research, professional preparation, clinical services, and partnerships. We will recruit faculty who specialize in autism, develop a network of researchers and collaborators, expand our ability to provide assessment and diagnostic services, create a program to provide families with resources and guidance, and plan for the next phase.

  • Phase 2

    In phase two, we will expand our partnerships with community-based service providers and research programs. This broad network will enable the UVA Center for Autism faculty to understand autism at increasingly deeper levels, and to develop, implement, and scale an evidence-based model for the coordination of autism care and service delivery.

BIG IDEA TEAM

  • Marty Block
    Professor
  • Jason Downer
    Associate Professor of Education, Director of CASTL, and Program Area Director for Clinical and School Psychology
  • Jane Hilton
    Assistant Professor
  • John Lloyd
    Professor
  • Peter Sheras
    Professor, Chair, Dept. of Human Services
  • Bill Therrien
    Professor
  • Amanda Williford
    Research Associate Professor
  • Kelly Reinhardt
    Major Gift Officer
IN THE NEWS
  • Autism Pathways: UVA Scholars and Community Provide Vision for Autism Center
    The Curry School of Education and the UVA Brain Institute along with co-sponsors Virginia Institute of Autism, The Faison Center, and Autism Speaks hosted an interdisciplinary symposium on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 to explore ways to break down research “silos,” and establish a network of relationships to better serve those affected by autism.
  • Curry School shares upcoming events related to autism research, service, and training

    The Curry School of Education Foundation is pleased to share a digest of upcoming events related to autism research, service, and training. Please visit the links following each event to learn more. For general questions, please contact Kelly Reinhardt, ksr2h@virginia.edu or 243-1962.

  • UVA Today: UVA, Va. Tech Seek Ways to Assist Drivers with Autism
    The University of Virginia Health System is teaming with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to study novice drivers with autism to determine if they would benefit from specialized training to help them become better, safer drivers and feel more comfortable behind the wheel.