Briar Cliff University’s pro bono Behavior Analysis Clinic recently received support through the Fund For Siouxland grant program, awarded by the Siouxland Community Foundation Board of Directors. The grant will support the transformation of the current campus spaces into a clinical setting with furnishings and equipment.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity and support of the Siouxland Community Foundation,” says Dr. Rachelle Karstens, Briar Cliff University President. “The Behavior Analysis Clinic is essential to providing the Siouxland community behavioral and educational interventions to those who otherwise may not receive care. It also serves as valuable fieldwork learning opportunities for our undergraduate students.”
The grant will further support the pro bono clinic by leveraging faculty and students to meet the critical, unmet, and well-defined needs of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, and their families, who are uninsured, low-income, or need services that are not covered by insurance.
“In 2019, the Center for Disease Control estimated that about one in 54 children across the nation had a diagnosis of ASD by age eight. At the local level, The Pier Center for Autism and other health care providers estimate there are 2,000 individuals in Siouxland who qualify for an ASD diagnosis,” says Dr. Mike Harman, Briar Cliff University Assistant Professor of Psychology and Clinical Director of the Behavior Analysis Clinic. “Decades of research have shown that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) interventions are effective in reducing problem behavior and establishing adaptive skills in children, adolescents and adults — both with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
The pro bono clinic collaborates with the Pier Center for Autism for referrals and transfers of clients. Due to the lack of local providers, at any given time over 60 families are on the waiting list for services. The Behavior Analysis Clinic will serve five to eight children and their families weekly, with each client receiving between five and 15 hours of therapy a week.