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The University of Texas at Dallas

ASD Children’s Programs

Families long to communicate and connect with their children. The goal of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD) programs at the UT Dallas Callier Center is to make those connections a reality. 

We strive to enhance effective social communication for children of various ages who are diagnosed with ASD through our innovative group therapy programs.

Communication Connection | Early CLASS Preschool | Playmates | Preverbal Communication Program


Communication Connection
Communication Connection is a group program designed for young children who have limited, but emerging, expressive language skills; may have an autism diagnosis; and have difficulty with social aspects of communication.

Communication Connection: provides intensive language intervention and social skills development; focuses on establishing the prerequisites to communication such as eye contact, attention, intent to communicate, communicative turn-taking, requesting, gaining others’ attention, and using word approximations words or signs to express wants and needs; and includes circle time, simple crafts, sensory activities, snack time and time for child-directed play.

  • Located at Callier Center Richardson
  • Serves children ages 3 1/2 to 5 years old
  • Meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Session: Spring 2015 coming soon
  • Cost: $180 per session (session fee may be insurance eligible) + $75 nonrefundable activity fee
  • 15% discount may be available for pre-paid sessions
  • Contact: Ali Timm
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Early CLASS (Communication, Language And Social Skills) Preschool

The Early CLASS is a classroom-based speech, language and communication program for children with ASD and their parents. The curriculum was developed using the SCERTS philosophy (Prizant and colleagues, 2006).

Intervention focuses on the core features of ASD and helps children become more competent communicators while preventing problem behaviors that interfere with learning and relationships.

We provide behavioral therapy with a developmental perspective. Speech-language pathologists trained in the SCERTS program are assisted in the classroom by graduate student clinicians.

The Early CLASS serves as an educational laboratory and research site for the UT Dallas program in communication sciences and disorders.

  • Located at Callier Center Dallas
  • Serves children ages 2 ½ - 5 years who exhibit some use of verbal language
  • Summer Lite Session: July 28 - August 13, 2014 (Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.)
  • Fall Session: September 2 - December 4, 2014 (Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.)
  • Winter Lite Session: December 9 - 18, 2014 (Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.)
  • Cost: $180 per session (may be insurance eligible) + $75 activity fee
  • Parent training sessions available
  • Contact: Michelle Howard

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The Playmates program facilitates peer interaction and social success for children with ASD in a small-group setting. The speech-language pathologist and graduate student assistants develop individualized plans to teach important skills in the practical use of language. Organized games and collaborative play provide the context for practice of social communication skills.

  • Located at Callier Center Dallas
  • Serves children ages kindergarten to second grade
  • Meets on Wednesdays, 3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Session: September 3 - November 19, 2014
  • Cost: $90 per session (may be insurance eligible) + $75 activity/deposit fee
  • Contact: Rachel Wehner

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The Preverbal Communications Program provides intense communication intervention for toddlers who are non-verbal or in the early stages of developing the use of language. Children appropriate for the program include those diagnosed with receptive/expressive language disorder, ASD, developmental delay, or those who have difficulty producing speech sounds, as well as those for whom the diagnosis is unclear.

A one-to-one ratio of clinician to child ensures that children have adult support in their attempts to participate and communicate in group activities and individual speech-language therapy.

Although speech-language pathologists individualize intervention to meet the needs of each child, they also incorporate aspects of the SCERTS approach (Prizant, 2006), Floor Time (Greenspan, 1998), the Hanen Program (Sussman, 1999) and behavioral intervention with a developmental/relational approach. 

The Preverbal Program serves as an educational laboratory and research site for the UT Dallas program in communication sciences and disorders.

  • Located at Callier Center Dallas
  • Serves children aged 18 months - 3 ½ years
  • Meets each day Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.,
    or you may choose to come in 2 days per week on either
    Monday and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., or
    Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Includes a parent education component
  • Contact: Preverbal Program at 214-905-3142

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