Overview

What Makes the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic Different?

What Makes the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic Different?

Our team has extensive education and experience in understanding the needs of people with autism spectrum disorders. We work with children, adolescents, adults, and their families across the continuum of care, including public schools, hospitals, day treatment settings, and outpatient settings.

Our goal is to partner with individuals and families to improve the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. We are a partnership between the Department of Psychiatry, the Neurobehavior HOME Program, and the University Neuropsychiatric Institute.

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Services

  • Autism spectrum disorder assessment
  • Social skill and recreational groups for children, adolescents and adults
  • Individual/family therapy
  • Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
  • Behavior intervention
  • School consultations
  • Early intervention services
  • Opportunities to participate in research to help us better understand ASD
  • Parent training

Who Does the ASDC Serve?

We provide services for children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families.

Does ASDC serve people without ASD?

Most services are designed with people with ASD in mind. However, our therapy groups can be for anyone who needs support with difficulties related to social anxiety, social communication, or other difficulties similar to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Do you accept insurance?

We have contracts with several insurance carriers to provide covered individual and family therapy services. Additionally, we also contract with UNI-Behavioral Health Network in conjunction with Blomquist Hale Consulting to provide assessment, behavioral intervention, individual therapy, and group therapy. An option to self-pay is also available for services as well and we will provide receipts and other needed information if you would like to pursue reimbursement from your insurance provider.

Intervention & Therapy

What is behavioral intervention?

Our team of Behavior Analysts and Registered Behavior Technicians work with families to provide evidence based treatment that has a foundation in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). After an initial assessment; behavior analysts work with families to develop and implement treatment goals based on individual needs. Adjustments to these plans and goals are made based on date collected during each treatment session. Our specialists are highly trained in providing Early Intervention for children ages 0-8 and Positive Behavior Supports for individuals ages 9 and older.

What kind of issues could be addressed in therapy?

Therapy is individualized, and goals are established during the first session. We might address:

  • co-occurring emotional issues, suchas anxiety and/or depression,
  • family dynamics,
  • behavioral challenges, and
  • social difficulties.

Learn more about our therapy services.

What if the individual needs medication?

While there are no medication management services at our clinic, we can refer you our Behavioral Health Clinic for an appointment with a psychiatrist.

If medication management is recommended, a psychiatric provider can also be recommended based on where you live and your insurance coverage.

Testing & Consultations

Autism Tests & Assessments

We offer evaluations for ASD for individuals of any age. Other testing or psychiatric consultation may be offered for the purpose of clarifying an ASD diagnosis or offering additional insights into co-occurring conditions, such as behavioral and emotional difficulties, some comorbid disorders, intellectual functioning, executive functioning skills, and adaptive skills.

Behavioral Consultation

Many children/adolescents with ASD at times display difficult to manage behaviors (such as aggression, self-injury, oppositional behavior, and others). We can help set up home behavior plans and help families manage these behaviors more effectively.

School Consultation

We are able to assist in collaborations with your school to obtain special education services (IEP process), help set up 504 plans (for accommodations), or assist with the development of a school based behavior plan. Please call us if you have specific questions, and we can tell you if we can help.

The ASDC Team

Amber Bridges

Amber works in the ASDC as our Outpatient Service Specialist. For many years Amber has worked in various positions ranging from customer service, administrative support, school services, and Special Education services. Amber has worked with children for the last 15+ years which is what she has enjoyed the most. Working in the UNI ASDC she feels fortunate to be able to embrace both working with children as well as all ages. Amber is a distance runner, which she feels is very therapeutic. She also enjoys cooking, and especially baking. Spending time with her family is what Amber enjoys most. Together they enjoy camping, cookouts and anything outdoors.

Natalie Buerger, PhD, Clinical Director

Dr. Buerger, licensed psychologist, Instructor (clinical) earned her Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Utah Educational Psychology program in 2014. She began working with the autism community as a graduate research assistant at the Utah Autism Research Program in 2008. She completed her APA accredited internship at The Watson Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she specialized on the autism training track. Dr. Buerger also participated in the URLEND program as an autism enhancement trainee. Before working within the Department of Pediatrics at the University Developmental Assessment Clinics (2015-2016), she spent four years working as a school psychologist. In addition to providing assessments and evaluations through the clinic, Dr. Buerger loves teaching and training students who are interested in autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Buerger is thrilled to be a part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic team. In her spare time, Dr. Buerger enjoys reading, cooking, being outside, and spending time with her family.

Caralee Cumming, LCSW

Caralee earned her Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science from Utah Valley University. Since graduating, Caralee has worked at RISE/Intercept, Options for Southern Oregon, and most recently, the UNI Behavioral Health Clinic. Caralee's clinical interests are CBT, especially with children under 10, and Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Caralee is in the process of submitting her documentation to complete certification with PCIT International. Caralee enjoys spending time training and playing with her dogs, reading, dancing, and travelling.

Kristina J. Cottle Feldman, PhD

Kristina J. Cottle Feldman, PhD, licensed psychologist, Instructor (Clinical), earned her Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Utah Educational Psychology program in 2017. She completed her APA accredited internship at The University of Utah University Neuropsychiatric Institute, where she received generalist training while enhancing her knowledge of concepts related to autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Feldman also participated in the URLEND program as a fulltime and an autism enhancement trainee. Before beginning graduate school at the University of Utah, Dr. Feldman gained undergraduate and post bachelor research experience at the University of California, Davis MIND Institute. Her current research pursuits include preparing adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and their families for transition to adulthood, life outcomes for adults with autism spectrum disorder, and co-occurring psychiatric conditions affecting individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Feldman is committed to advocating for individuals and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder, as well as advancing the field by educating graduate students, medical students, residents, and fellow. Dr. Feldman is thrilled to join the department and clinical faculty at the University of Utah, Department of Psychiatry and Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic. Dr. Feldman enjoys spending time soaking in the Utah outdoors - running, biking, skiing, fishing, and playing with her two golden retrievers.

Nicolette Goines, MED

Nicolette Goines is a Behavior Specialist who began working as a Behavior Technician when the Early Intervention program began in 2015. She received her Bachelor's degree in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho and completed her Master's Degree at the University of Utah in Special Education with an emphasis in behavior analysis. She specializes in early intervention services, positive behavior supports, and social skills groups. She currently runs our 3 to 4 year-old and 5 to 8-year-old social skills groups and has a passion for working with young children and their families.

Katrin Hechler-Massel, MS, BCBA, LBA

Katrin has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2011. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of East London in 2007 and then graduated with a Master of Science in Psychology, with a specialization in Educational Psychology, from Capella University in 2010. Katrin completed her coursework toward BCBA examination at the Florida Institute of Technology and has been a BCBA since 2014. In her free time, Katrin enjoys spending time outdoors but she especially enjoys spending time with her family. She joined the UNI Home Program and Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic in May of 2017.

Russell Howarth, MED

Russell received his Masters in Special Education with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis from the University of Utah in the summer of 2018. He has worked with children and adults providing ABA services for the past 7 years. He has worked in schools, clinics, and in the home. Russell is from Florida, loves the outdoors, southern BBQ cuisine, Mexican food, and sports.

Caitlin MacPherson MS, BCBA, LBA

Caitlin has been working with people with developmental disabilities since 2012. Her experience includes designing behavior analytic programs in a variety of settings including school and in home programs. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Utah in 2012, and her graduate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from The Sage Colleges in 2016. Caitlin received her Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) in 2014 and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2016. She became licensed to practice in the state of Utah in 2017.

Emily May, MED, MCBA

Emily began working as an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist in 2009 working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since then, she has gained experience in working with individuals with various mental health, developmental, and medical needs. As part of the Neurobehavior Home Program and Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic, she has had the opportunity to work as a Behavior Technician, Behavior Specialist and Behavior Analyst. Emily graduated from the University of Utah with her Masters in Special Education in 2016 and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in May 2017. She has special interests in training parents on how to develop and use strategies in the home to manage problem behaviors. Her hobbies include photography, traveling and spending time with family.

Rates

The following are approximate costs for the various services we provide. Actual costs may vary based on your individual needs and the availability of scholarship funding.

Service Rate
Autism diagnostic testing $1000-$1400
Further related testing $225/hour
Therapy groups $40 per session
Individual/family therapy $90-110 per session*
Behavior/school consultation $90-110 per hour**
Early intervention Please inquire

Helping With Costs

We strive to serve our community’s needs, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. If paying for services creates a hardship for your family, please let us know. We receive limited scholarship funding from generous donors to reduce the cost of diagnostic evaluations you may qualify for a sliding fee scale for group therapy services. When grants are available, we can assist you with this application.

If you have a vocational rehabilitation counselor, they may also be able to help support the cost of services.

*Or we can bill your insurance if we have a contract

**Including travel time if we come to your home or school

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