The Virginia Tech Autism Clinic & Center for Autism Research (VTAC/CAR)
Our region of Southwest Virginia rates lower than the national average when considering the number of specialty care providers. The VT Autism Clinic & Center for Autism Research, located in Blacksburg, aims to merge science with service while helping to fill that gap. The Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim, That I May Serve, is at the core of what we do through research and services provided at our Blacksburg clinic, Mobile Autism Clinic, and via telehealth. Our center promotes multi-disciplinary research focused on understanding the needs of people with autism and ways to improve access to evidence-based services for underserved populations. Together, the mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families through assessment, intervention, education, and research directed towards effective treatments and supports.
The VT Autism Clinic (VTAC) offers a variety of services to children and adults with or suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Established in 2005, VTAC works under the Psychological Services Center and with the Child Study Center to offer diagnostic assessments for infants/toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults who are suspected to have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Doctoral level graduate student clinicians use intervention services which are based on a variety of empirically supported treatment techniques. Individualized treatment approaches are developed for each person based on evidence-based behavioral strategies from Applied Behavior Analysis, including Pivotal Response Treatment, and also Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, including stress and anger management and social skills groups. Clinicians also offer consultations to schools, medical practices, and community agencies involved in providing services for children with ASD.
The signature initiative, the Mobile Autism Clinic, provides outreach services to more rural areas through partnerships with local community agencies and stakeholders, which improves access to critical ASD services in these communities. We will resume travel in the MAC once it is safe to do so.
The Center for Autism Research (CAR), in the College of Science, promotes collaborative research on ASD and related conditions from multiple disciplinary perspectives.
The CAR, established in 2012, builds upon basic research and clinical resources already available at Virginia Tech and works closely with other autism service providers to conduct research, provide outreach on research findings, and recruit participants for various studies. This research gives children, parents, and service providers the opportunity to participate in the development of effective evidence-based treatment techniques by taking part in studies designed to understand the causes, prevention, and interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
VTAC & CAR host a biennial autism research conference every other spring to share research and findings with the larger community.