The PEERS project is a randomized control study that aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the UCLA PEERS program in developing social skills.
This study aims to treat sleep difficulties in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder through parent training and utilization of behavioral principles.
A previous randomized control trial that evaluated the effectiveness of the Camp Discovery App found that children mastered significantly more exemplars during treatment with the app.
The current study aims to expand the findings of the one-to- one study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Camp Discovery app in a group setting.
Treatment Evaluation Protocols: Supervisors and therapists have the option to develop their own treatment evaluation protocols that target specific behaviors.
CARD is interested in researching the underlying biological mechanisms associated with ASD and how they may influence autism severity, symptom presentation, and comorbidities.
We are also studying how technology may be utilized to treat ASD. Technology that can effectively teach target skills may be a viable method of supplementing treatment.
Dennis Dixon, PhD, oversees research at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. He received a PhD in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University with a focus on developmental disabilities and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he specialized in the treatment of severe challenging behaviors. He also serves as the executive director of Autism Research Group, a nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives of persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families through science. Dr. Dixon is on the editorial boards of the journals Research in Developmental Disorders and Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. His research focuses on the use of technology and big data analytics to improve the treatment outcomes and quality of life for individuals with ASD.
Christina Whalen is a psychologist and doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) specializing in autism and related disorders. She received her PhD at U.C. San Diego and did her post-doctoral fellowship at U.C.L.A. She has more than 20 years experience in research and clinical practice with children with autism and their families. Dr. Whalen has developed and supervised home programs, educated and trained parents and teachers, consulted with school districts, taught college and graduate courses in psychology and education, presented at numerous conferences, published in several journals, and participates in fund-raising activities for various autism organizations. She is the editor and author of the book “Real Life, Real Progress,“ as well as several research publications. She is currently the Director of new initiatives at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and is working on technology-based solutions for teaching social skills to children with autism and helping to establish more opportunities for services for adults with ASDs.
Marlena Novack is a project manager at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Marlena has contributed to a number of CARD research publications and has experience managing large data acquisition projects.
Esther Hong is a research assistant at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Southern California. Esther contributes to research publications and is currently overseeing the PEERS ® program at CARD. Prior to joining the Analytics team, Esther was a senior behavior therapist and has over three years of clinical experience working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Claire Burns is a research assistant at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and a clinical psychology doctoral student at Louisiana State University (LSU) studying autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Tulane University. Prior to studying at LSU, she was a research associate at the LSU Health Sciences Center and worked on MRI studies investigating the differences in motor and language areas in children with autism.
Jina Jang is a research assistant and senior therapist at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. She currently is a fourth year doctoral student in clinical psychology at Louisiana State University. Her research interests include early identification and intervention for autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders, with particular emphasis on factors such as cultural differences impacting diagnosis and treatment.
Jasper Estabillo is a research assistant and an assistant supervisor at the CARD Baton Rouge office. She is currently a second year doctoral student in child clinical psychology at Louisiana State University. Her research interests include early identification, differential diagnosis, and comorbidities of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Clinically, her work is primarily in the assessment of developmental disorders and early intensive behavioral intervention therapy.
Lucia Herrera is an administrative coordinator who has recently joined the research department. She is currently overseeing the Metabolomics Study, across all Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) sites.
Roshan Amarasinghe joined the Research and Development Department in 2015 and is involved with data analysis. He has an interest in finding trends and patterns in data for research purposes in order to improve patient treatment, as well as for business intelligence, in order to improve operational efficiency. He holds a bachelor’s in economics and an obsession for all things that involve data.
CJ Miyake received his Master of Education with an emphasis in technology from Azusa Pacific University. Prior to his role at PixelAtion Labs, CJ was a behavioral therapist and has over five years of experience directly assisting children with autism spectrum disorder.
All CARD therapists are encouraged to stay uptodate with research on current best practices and have opportunities to obtain scholarships to conduct their own research protocols to further improve the lives of our clients. Joining our team of experienced professionals provides an excellent opportunity for researchoriented BCBAs to advance their careers by assisting with various ongoing projects, writing research proposals, and independently coordinating approved research studies with supervision.