INSTITUTE FOR
AUTISM RESEARCH

INSTITUTE FOR<br>AUTISM RESEARCH

Clinical & Community Programs

In addition to conducting high level research, members of the IAR are committed to serving the community and individuals with autism and related developmental disorders through provision of effective intervention and treatment programs, as well as consultation with parents, educators, and clinical providers. The following is a list of programs offered by members of the IAR. Some of these involve community-based programming and others involve programs that are part of a research study.

 

The comprehensive summer social development program for 7-12 year old children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs) entitled, summerMAX, will be conducted 5 days a week for 4-5 weeks during the summer.  The program will run from 8:50 to 4:10 each day. The focus of the summer program is to teach social skills and provide multiple opportunities to practice the skills.  Specifically the program addresses 4 main areas that are problems for children with HFASDs: social skills, interest expansion, interpretation of non-literal language (idioms), and face and affect recognition.  Each day is divided up into five 70 minute treatment cycles.  The first 25 minutes of each 70 minute cycle consist of instruction that includes role play and modeling.  After the instruction period, the children participate in a 45 minute therapeutic activity in which they practice the skills they were just taught in a cooperative group activity.  

summerMAX has been running since the summer of 2003. We have conducted two randomized clinical trials that have shown the program is effective.  While summerMAX is a treatment program, the kids report that they view it as a summer camp.  The children go swimming twice a week and on end-of-the-week field trips.  All the clinicians who work in summerMAX are college students who are given extensive training in how to implement the manualized treatments.  All clinicians must demonstrate competence in implementing the protocol before they can work in the program.

Tuition for the 2015 program for new families is $400.  A sliding scale is available if needed.   

The program is also open to families of 7-12 year old children with HFASDs that have participated in prior years.  Contact the IAR for costs for returning families. Learn more.

To apply or for further information, please contact the IAR at iar@canisius.edu or 716-888-2800.

MAXout is an outpatient afterschool social development program conducted during the school year.  The program is modeled after the empirically validated summer program, summerMAX,  for 7-12 year old children with HFASDThe program addresses social skills, interest expansion, interpretation of non-literal language (idioms), and face and emotion recognition deficits.  Each afterschool session is divided up into two 45 minute treatment cycles.  The first 15 minutes of each 45 minute cycle consist of instruction that includes role play and modeling.  After the instruction period, the children participate in a therapeutic activity in which they practice the skills they were just taught in a cooperative group activity.  There are 4 kids to a group and each group has 2 clinicians.  Note that while the afterschool sessions are treatment, the kids will view it as an afterschool program at Canisius College. 

MAXout will be conducted two afternoons per week for 18 weeks during the school year.  Sessions run from 4:30-6:00PM. Tuition for the program is $300 and financial assistance may be available to those in need. Learn more.

To apply or for further information please contact the IAR at iar@canisius.edu or 716-888-2800.

WNY Sibshop

The WNY Sibshop at Canisius College is a program dedicated to the common concerns and challenges faced by the siblings of individuals with developmental disorders. Having a family member with a serious developmental disorder can have a profound effect on the lives of the whole family. The Sibshop is designed to increase opportunities for peer support and information for the siblings of such individuals. The program also works to increase overall understanding of ways that parents and health providers can better relate to and address sibling issues. Ultimately, the affected children will benefit from this effort, as understanding and ways of coping are achieved by their siblings. Trained staff an environment where the siblings feel safe and comfortable and are free to openly talk about their relationships with their brothers and sisters. The program includes games, discussions, and bonding experiences for the siblings who attend. This is a time for them to be the focus of attention and feel special.

Learn more information about the Sibshop program or contact Susan K. Putnam, PhD, WNY Sibshop Director, at putnams@canisius.edu or (716) 888-2895.