The Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research … creating possibilities for life
We opened the doors to our center in 2005 with the mission to increase the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families by providing services, preparing educators, and conducting research. We are based in Lubbock, Texas, and part of Texas Tech University.
Before you read more about the programs we offer, think about this... $50 can cover the cost of social skills classes for one child for FIVE WEEKS, $150 could cover the cost of a 10-week parent training classes for one family, $500 would support bringing in a speaker to present to our college students on the spectrum about topics such as online safety, getting a job, building relationships, etc. for the 38 students in our CASE college support program, $1,000 would support center staff to offer a high-quality training session for up to 100 people to selected community groups... so think about what $5,000 could do!
So, what does The Burkhart Center offer?
Let’s start with the education and training services…
Our center’s Applied Behavioral Analysis – Teacher Training Institute Program offers professional training for teachers or clinicians working with students with autism who want to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). This program gives educators hands-on training in functional behavioral assessment and function-based treatment design. While in the program, teachers work to complete their Masters of Special Education with an Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate. Recently, a practicum was added to the requirements of the program at Texas Tech University so that students can complete coursework and all the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and be eligible to sit for the BCBA exam upon completion of their Masters here at Texas Tech.
On to the center-based services for those with autism…
The Burkhart Transition Academy is a non-residential program that helps those with autism who aspire to be competitively employed gain social and job skills, which leads to productive and dignified employment and life skills. The Burkhart Transition Academy has a 93% success rate with our students getting and maintaining competitive employment. The Burkhart Center has a fully-functional Quiznos restaurant that offers paid opportunities for those with autism and other disabilities. Here, employees gain valuable working experience and work towards their goal of becoming independent in a supervised environment. Students in the Transition Academy also have the opportunity to express themselves through arts, and some of the hand-made art is entered into Lubbock’s First Friday Art Trail. In addition to employment skills, students also learn many various independent, citizenship, and leadership skills through this program.
The Connections for Academic Success and Employment (CASE) is a college program that supports those with complex disabilities, including autism, to successfully integrate into college. This program helps students obtain necessary skills needed in order to pursue an academic degree or certification of their choice. In order to help students be successful in college and earn their college degree or certification, the CASE faculty and staff serve as a coach and liaison between the students and the college/university system, helping them navigate and balance any academic and social complexities they may face.
Additionally, the Burkhart Center offers several services based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The focused ABA provides direct targeted support for behavioral and learning challenges faced by those with autism across their lifespan. This service is both for the support of the individual with autism and training for their family and caretaker to support the treatment at home and in the community. ABA services also include social skills classes, which provide targeted intervention and support for individuals with autism to develop social skills related to academic, social, and vocational success. ABA Services clinical staff also contract with other agencies to provide consultations or training related to effective intervention with people with autism.
We also have Family Fun events around the Lubbock community!
Once a year, we hold the Burkhart Walk for Autism Awareness to promote autism awareness in the community and celebrate individuals with ASD and the families and professionals who support them. The Burkhart Center partners with the College of Visual and Performing Arts to offer theatre and dance classes for elementary and high school students on the spectrum. Additionally, we support the BurkTech Players, which is a theatre performance group composed of Texas Tech University students and young adults with autism from the community.
To learn more about our center and the many services we offer, visit our website at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/burkhartcenter/
To hear more about The Burkhart Center in the news, you can check out the various articles at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/burkhartcenter/news_archive.ph