The Claremont Autism Center Autism is a developmental disability that occurs in about one out of every 2,500 children. It is characterized by extreme withdrawal and lack of social behavior, severe language and attention deficits, and the presence of repetitive behaviors. At present, there is no definite cause of autism and there is no cure. The autism "puzzle" has thus attracted the attention of researchers and clinicians. The only scientifically proven treatment that has been successful in improving a child's prognosis is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The Claremont Autism Center is a behavior modification treatment and research program for children with autism and their families. It has been in operation for 35 years, the past 17 years under the direction of Dr. Marjorie H. Charlop-Christy. It serves a large catchment area of San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Referrals are generally received from the state mandated referral and funding agencies for developmentally disabled children such as the Inland Counties Regional Center, the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center, East LA Regional Center, Lanterman Regional Center, Harbor Regional Center, Orange County Regional Center, as well as Loma Linda University Medical School, UC Irvine Medical School, UCLA, school personnel including psychologists, teachers, and education specialists, the National Society for Autistic Children and Adults, word of mouth, and by parents previously or presently participating at the Center. The community's demand and need for the Center is quite evident in the number of referrals.
It is the only center of its kind in the area and one of only a few in the state of California and in the country. The Center enjoys an excellent national reputation among consumers and professionals alike.
At the Center, each child has an individually designed treatment program, depending upon his or her needs. Direct treatment is presented to the children twice weekly, while their parents are also trained in behavior management techniques to treat their children at home and in other community settings. The Center staff consists of graduate and undergraduate psychology student therapists. The therapists are trained and supervised by the Director. The students enjoy a unique experience of helping special children and their families in addition to participating in scientifically based research projects.
In addition to providing treatment, research is of primary importance at the Center. All research is related to treating autism or teaching parents of autistic children specific methods. No research project is implemented unless it can also directly benefit the participating children. General research areas include speech, language, motivation, parent training, and social skills. New treatment and teaching procedures are studied, often resulting in new ways to treat autism. The Autism Center's Director and Student Staff have enjoyed a productive research environment which has resulted in a large number of presentations at scholarly meetings, speeches, invited lectures, and publications. The Center has a national reputation and recently the Director was one of a few individuals who were invited to speak as representatives of model programs throughout the country. The CMC Autism Center has been credited with providing "state of the art" techniques and the research has been referred to as "cutting edge." For more information, contact Claremont Autism Center 742 N. Amherst Ave. Claremont, CA 91711 (909) 621 8598