UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities
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Business Name: UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Long Business Description:

The UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities is composed of faculty and students in the Behavior Analysis, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Education graduate programs at UHCL. Its purpose is to train current and future professionals in ABA techniques and assessment, and to provide services to children and their families through partnerships with community organizations. Through CADD, graduate students in the Behavior Analysis program provide services to children and teachers in Clear Creek, Pasadena, and Pearland Independent School Districts. For more information, contact Dr. Dorothea Lerman at lerman@uhcl.edu.

Autism Assessment Services

Graduate students in the School Psychology Program provide evaluations for students on the autism spectrum under the supervision of faculty at the UHCL Psychological Services clinic. The evaluations are designed to identify the student’s condition, describe functioning levels across several domains, and make recommendations for intervention based on student needs and research-based practices. For more information, contact Dr. Gail Cheramie at cheramie@uhcl.edu.

Severe Behavior Disorders Research Clinic

This clinic offers assessment and treatment services to children of all ages who engage in severe problem behavior, such as self-injurious behavior, aggression, and property destruction. Services will be individualized and provided as part of ongoing studies designed to identify the most effective methods of reducing severe behavior disorders. Following the child’s participation in research, families will receive training in effective behavior management strategies to use at home. For more information, please visit the Severe Behavior Disorders Research Clinic website or contact Dr. Jennifer Fritz at behaviorclinic@uhcl.edu.

Group and Family Counseling

The Graduate Family Therapy Program is teaming up with CADD to provide therapy services for couples, single parents, and siblings of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. These services will be focused on managing stress and relationship issues that often arise when caring for a child with special needs. Dr. Matt Brown will oversee these services and conduct ongoing research related to family needs and effective support. For more information please email to brownm@uhcl.edu or call (281) 283-3304.

Verbal Behavior Clinic

The Verbal Behavior clinic provides empirically based individualized services to children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and their families. These services include assessments, parent training, and the development of teaching procedures relating to language skills. Graduate students in the Applied Behavior Master’s program participate as the primary therapists, and each case is directly supervised by Dr. Sarah Lechago, BCBA-D, director of the clinic. Social skills training, which often includes language skills, is also conducted in the clinic. Services may also be provided in Spanish. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact Sarah Lechago at vbclinic@uhcl.edu.

Clinic and Home Services (Project ABA-SkIP)

Children receive individualized training designed to reduce problem behaviors and to develop age-appropriate social, self-help, school readiness and language skills. Family members and caregivers also learn how to continue the training methods at home.

Services are provided at the UHCL Psychological Services Clinic and in the community. In partnership with the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority (MHMRA) of Harris County, this project is being funded through a grant awarded by The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. To be eligible, children must be between the ages of 3 and 8 and diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. To request services, contact MHMRA Program Manager Melinda B. Benjumea at 713-970-8241. For more information, contact Dr. Dorothea Lerman at lerman@uhcl.edu.

Business Contact: Dr. Dorothea Lerman
Address: University of Houston Clear Lake


I hesitate to write this “review” of the UHCL Autism Center, because honestly how can I knock any service which works for the benefit of our kids? Let me say just that my expectations were too high for what they have to offer, or had to offer a few years ago. When moving to the Houston area from California with an autistic 2 year old, and trying to decide whether to be in Clear Lake or Katy, I placed a lot of emphasis on the presence of the UHCL Autism Center. The reality is that they had a long waiting list for services, and then, when my son’s name came up, we got a letter saying that we were going to have to pay for services, and it was a lot. Why couldn’t they get grant funding? I guess coming from a socialist state like California, I wasn’t anticipating that, especially since services are therapy sessions led by students in their psychology program. Finally, the hours for sessions were in the middle of the work day, making it impossible for working parents to utilize.

Though the UHCL Autism Center was one reason we decided to move to Clear Lake, we were never able to make use of their services. I tried a second time to participate in a program for which they had received grant funding, but they expected me to take off from work every week. I was never able to benefit from the Autism Center but I’m sure they do good things.

Emily Tuck | November 20, 2014

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