The Mailman Segal Center for Human Development, the Center for Psychological Studies and the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences have joined together to form a collaborative, interdisciplinary division within the structure of NSU. The intent of this merger is to foster collaborative efforts in research, scholarly activities, grants, educational programming and shared operations while continuing each unit’s commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and community service. In addition to this initiative, MSC has a number of collaborative programs throughout NSU and the community.
Center for Psychological Studies
The Center for Psychological Studies and MSI are currently collaborating on an early literacy grant (Parents Activate Literacy Skills). Pre- and post-tests were conducted on approximately 12 children who participated in the research study. Twenty students conducted evaluations of children using a range of measures of language and literacy development.
Abraham S. Fischler School of Education
Camp Yofi: Partnered withAbraham S. Fischler School of Education and Camp Ramah Doram, which is located in Clayton, Georgia, to provide the Camp Yofi program, two one-week sessions for children with autism and their families. Three MSC staff and two graduate students have participated in the camp program. Dr. Susan Kabot of the Institute’s Autism Consortium has collaborated with the camp’s director to produce a manual for other camps interested in offering similar programs. The Marcus Foundation provided the funding for the development of the manual. Learn more...
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) track: Beginning Fall, 2008, an ABA track will become part of the Bachelor of Science with a Concentration in Child Development degree. The courses have been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and will be offered collaboratively with NSU’s Abraham S. Fischler School of Education.
Preschool Screenings: MSC and the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education coordinated the annual multi-disciplinary screenings of the children at the Family Center Preschool. Fifteen students and 4 faculty from the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education, the Center for Psychological Studies and the College of Health Care Sciences assessed approximately 250 children.
College of Osteopathic Medicine
Pediatric Resident Training: see description above
Pediatrician Training: We are in the process of developing a pediatric training program in concert with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation to screen all children for autism as part of their routine well check-ups (at ages 18 and 24 months). MSC, in collaboration with the NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, will be presenting CME based workshops for physicians. The pilot program will commence in the fall with an online component being developed for the following year.
School of Dental Medicine
Pediatric Dental Clinic: MSC is working with the NSU School of Dental Medicine to design their special needs dental clinic at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. A training program on child development and behavior management for pediatric dental post-graduate students will be offered in the 2008-09 academic year.
School of Pharmacy
Glutathione Study: MSC is working with the School of Pharmacy on a 6-week open pilot study of a glutathione nutritional supplement for the treatment of children, aged 4-5 years, diagnosed with autism. Five Baudhuin Preschool students who qualify for the study will be treated with a glutathione nutritional supplement for 6 weeks. The behavioral and functional outcomes as they relate to autism symptoms of the five treated children will be compared to other five matched children in order to establish changes in autistic behavior due to the treatment. The results of this study will evaluate the feasibility of conducting a six months long, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a glutathione nutritional supplement in children to enhance the developmental processes in core areas impacted by autism and correlate these findings with glutathione levels.
Graduate students in Computer Science have worked with our research director to develop a comprehensive data base. We will be using this data base with incoming families (Fall, 2008) and will be developing a research agenda.
Unicorn Children’s Clinic
MSC has been working with Dr. Robert Oller and faculty/staff from Speech/Language, OT, PT, Psychology and SHSS to re-open the Unicorn Children’s Clinic. Collaborations and systems are in place for a Fall, 2008 opening. Housed at Mailman Segal Center, the clinic will conduct multidisciplinary autism screenings for children under 5 years of age. Students and staff from the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education (Speech), College of Health Care Sciences (OT), Center for Psychological Studies, and the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (Family Therapy) provide the services.
National Center of Missing and Exploited Children: MSC developed a training curriculum for the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children entitled “Keeping Children Safer While in Care.” The goal of the training is to examine and improve standards and systems that presently exist to help keep children safer from abduction and sexual exploitation while in child care and family child care homes. The curriculum was presented at the Miami-Dade CAA Head Start/Early Head Start Program, 6th Annual Pregnant Women, Infant & Toddler Conference on April 1, 2008.
Inter-Rater Reliability: MSC has collaborated with Debbie Cryer from the University of North Carolina’s Frank Porter Graham Institute on two occasions to measure the inter-rater reliability of evaluators using the nationally recognized Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale – Revised (ECERS-R) and the Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale – Revised (ITERS-R). Both tools are used to rate the quality of early childhood programs. Approximately 30 evaluators have visited MSC classrooms for this purpose.
Building Literacy Grant: MSC’s Building Literacy grant (2005-2007), funded by A.D. Henderson and MSC, required that early childhood teachers from participating community childcare centers in the program visit the Family Center Preschool or Infant & Toddler Program to observe best practices. Twelve teachers visited MSC classrooms on two occasions using the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) tool.
University of Miami Autism Genetics Program: MSC is working collaboratively with the Miami Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on a research project involving their Autism Genetics Program. Families from the Baudhuin School will be solicited for participation and the Unicorn Children’s Foundation Clinic will be used for assessment purposes. In addition, there will be opportunities for NSU psychology or speech-language graduate students to participate in the project.
Autism Programs and Services
The Interdisciplinary Council for the Study of Autism: ICSA: was developed by MSC with over 30 individuals from NSU, representing a variety of disciplines. University-wide committees were formed in the areas of academics, research, clinical services, other direct service programs and student practicum experiences. The group meets monthly to develop and support collaborative programs and services and is currently supporting the Autism Initiative project.
NSU Autism Initiatives: A university wide initiative to collect and disseminate information regarding each center’s professional work in the field of autism is being led by MSC. Staff in MSC will be categorizing current activities and organizing this initiative to develop new programs, a comprehensive website, and university/community collaborations to facilitate innovative programming and services for professionals and the community.