Training and Professional Development
Upcoming Training Events
- Featuring UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center Associate Executive Director, Dr. Heather Hughes, as a guest speaker
The UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center is dedicated to providing on-going training for parents and professionals.
Parent and Family Training at the UNT Autism Center
The UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center plans to provide the following training opportunities for parents and families:
- monthly training workshops
- on-line training modules and courses
- video teleconference training for those outside the DFW area
- annual "Adventures in Autism Intervention and Research" conference held on the UNT Denton campus
- individualized training workshops for parents, families, individuals, and siblings
Training at UNT
Preparing UNT students to work in the field of autism is an important part of our community development. In collaboration with mutliple departments at UNT, we plan on providing students with opportunities for internships, practicum work, or field experience. The University of North Texas currently has two different programs for students to pursue their interest and training in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
UNT’s Special Education Program in the Department of Educational Psychology offers a highly respected, research-based program in the area of Autism Intervention. Because of the specific nature of this field and the challenges associated with this subject, this program offers special education degrees with autism specializations at the Master and Doctoral levels only. The goal of this program is to prepare personnel to assume leadership roles in the field of autism research, education, and training. The extensive requirements for completion of this program are designed to elevate the ability of graduates to provide highly-qualified, effective leadership in the areas of autism programming and policy development, and to conduct empirical research practices that will contribute to the current research on autism. Please check the Program’s web page about the availability of federal funding for participation in the master’s or doctoral programs.
Click here to view a video for the Graduate Programs in the Department of Educational Psychology, featuring Executive Director, Dr. Kevin Callahan and Director of Intervention, Dr. Susan Nichols of the UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center.
UNT's degree programs in the Department of Behavior Analysis offer students a broad range of experiences in the classroom, research laboratories, and applied settings. The department's Master of Science degree program was the first graduate program in the nation to be accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis. The UNT Department of Behavior Analysis was also instrumental in the founding of the Texas Association for Behavior Analysis and remains its headquaters to this day. In addition, the Department of Behavior Analysis is one of the few programs in the country providing an on-line Board Certification in Behavior Analysis. Students from all over the world have come to UNT to pursue their interests in Behavior Analysis, and graduates from this program are consistently considered to be highly accomplished Behavior Analysts. In addition to the highly respected Master of Science degree program, the Department of Behavior Analysis provides the opportunity for a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.
The UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center and the UNT Graduate Programs in Autism Intervention host an annual conference on UNT's main campus. The conference features extensive training opportunities for special educators, behavior analysts, speech and language pathologists, audiologists, parents, and other autism service providers. Over 20 nationally recognized professionals, researchers, and practitioners present research highlighting new developments in autism intervention. CEUs arealso available for UNT, BACB, TSHA, and other professionals. More information on the 6th Annual Adventures in Autism Intervention and Research Conference coming soon.
Additional Training Events
The Community for Permanent Supported Housing (CPSH) is a non-profit charity working in the North Texas region to solve the problem of the lack of housing options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The CPSH hosts events and meetings throughout the DFW area to bring awareness about the issue of providing safe, clean, and cost-effective housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Partners Resource Network (PRN) is a non-profit agency that operates the Texas statewide network of Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI). The PATH Project, one of the three federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers, serves Texas parents of children and youth with disabilities from the ages of 0 to 26. PATH works to empower parents and to promote partnerships among parents and professionals, parent organizations, school districts, and service providers. Services provided by the PATH Project include providing training, information, and technical assistance at no cost to parents throughout Texas. Information regarding upcoming parent workshops, training events, and the Parent Statewide Leadership Conference is listed below. For additional information or to RSVP, contact Regional Coordinator, Linda Westrick.
Additional Resources for Parent and Professional Training
FEAT-NT is a non-profit organization geared towards providing resources, information, and support for families and professionals. FEAT-NT helps provide continuous education and training to parents and professionals in the area of autism intervention, education, advocacy, and support. FEAT-NT also has an Autism Resource Center and Library that provides valuable research, training, and support for these groups regarding autism interventions and services. This center includes an autism library with over 400 books and resources on autism, a workshop space with room for 65 attendees to provide training opportunities that will help families seek appropriate treatment for their children, a children's development and play room with therapy items for children and parents to practice strategies and techniques, and a parent workroom with materials and resources for parents to aid them in the home.
The Texas Autism Research and Resource Center (TARRC) works to disseminate research on autism and other pervasive developmental disorders, conduct training and development activities for professionals, coordinate with service providers, and provide support to families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorders. TARRC recently held the 2012 Texas Autism Research Conference, on July 13-14 in Austin, TX. This conference presented an opportunity for parents and professionals in the field of autism to acquire knowledge and additional training in autism research and evidence-based practices related to the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Keynote speakers and presenters provided valuable information on topics such as biological biomarkers for autism, techniques to improve communication, and the implementation of evidence-based practices in schools.
Through a network of 20 regional Education Service Centers and in collaboration with the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training provides a means to access training, technical assistance, support, and resources for educators serving students with autism. This organization will be putting on the 21st Annual Texas Autism Conference in October of 2012. The purpose of this conference is to provide training and professional development for school personnel and parents of students with autism. The conference will also provide opportunities for learning effective methods of instruction and intervention to meet the needs of students with autism.
The Texas-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (TSHA) is a professional organization that is a highly recognized resource for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and consumers in the state of Texas. TSHA works to encourage the role of speech pathologists in delivering services to those with communication disorders, conduct clinical and scientific research, promote the prevention of communication disorders, provide continuing educational opportunities, and promote the public awareness regarding the field of speech-language pathology.
Autism Speaks is an organization that sponsors research in the field of autism and autism interventions, as well as providing training, research and resources for families affected by autism. Autism Speaks will be hosting the National Conference for Families and Professionals in August of 2012, providing workshops focused on medical challenges and different approaches to providing comprehensive care to individuals with autism spectrum disorders. This organization is essential for the dissemination of autism research and provides both parents and professionals with valuable information regarding autism research and training.
The Texas Association for Behavior Analysis (TxABA), a professional organization, works towards the advancement of the science and application of behavior analysis. TxABA disseminates research, information, and knowledge based on the science of behavior analysis to the public as well as professional behavior analysts in and around Texas. This organization provides much needed support and resources for parents and professionals working to increase the acceptance and practice of behavior analysis.