Texas Tech University

Experts at Texas Tech available to speak on autism spectrum disorder

Robert Stein

April 1, 2022

Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research

April is World Autism Month.

Each April, faculty, researchers and staff at Texas Tech University's Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research share their expertise during World Autism Month. Established in 2005 as part of the College of Education, the multidisciplinary, lifespan autism center is well known in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) community for conducting, sharing and presenting collaborative, cutting-edge research on ASD treatment and training methodologies across the state and country, receiving numerous accolades.

The prevalence of autism has soared since 1975, when it was estimated that one in 1,500 children had ASD. Today, roughly one in 44 children has been diagnosed with ASD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials expect that number to continue to rise with better screening, diagnosis and record keeping. 

In an effort to support this growing population, the Burkhart Center offers numerous services, including the Transition Academy, a non-residential program that assists people with ASD in transitioning to life after high school. Connections for Academic Success and Employment (CASE), also offered by the center, is an innovative support program for college students with ASD or other developmental disabilities pursuing an academic degree at Texas Tech or South Plains College.

Clinical services are available in Lubbock and at a distance through the center's Mobile Outreach Clinic for Autism (MOCA) and Texas Telehealth Outreach Clinic for Autism (TTOCA). Autism educators and specialists can also take advantage of Burkhart Center training opportunities offered throughout the year. In addition to these resources and clinics, the center hosts a wide range of community and family events and activities, including the Burkhart Walk for Autism, Parents' Night Out and Camp Burkhart. 

Experts from the center are available to speak on a variety of topics related to autism.


Jennifer Hamrick, Burkhart Center co-director, board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) and assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership, (806) 834-0054 or jennifer.hamrick@ttu.edu

  • Director of MOCA, TTOCA and Autism Training Workshop Series.
  • Areas of expertise:
    • Training and supporting families and caregivers of children with ASD in underserved, rural communities in West Texas
    • Applied behavior analysis
    • Rural and telehealth service delivery
    • Special education programming in large school districts, including best practices when working effectively with students with special needs in public education 

Janice Magness, Burkhart Center co-director, Burkhart Transition Academy director, (806) 834-3725 or janice.magness@ttu.edu

  • Areas of expertise:
    • Working with individuals with ASD to assist them with job, social, independent-living and leadership skills
    • Helping high school graduates with ASD gain and maintain employment
    • Converting to online classes to continue to support students in the Transition Academy
    • Providing support in the workplace for individuals with ASD who are seeking employment

Taylor Fidler, CASE program director, (806) 834-6002 or taylor.fidler@ttu.edu

  • Assists students with ASD and other related disabilities in navigating college, seeking internships and obtaining employment related to their field of choice
  • Areas of expertise:
    • Connecting students to college supports and resources
    • Advocating for students with ASD through collaborative efforts on campus and in the community
    • Helping students and families navigate the transition from high school to college
    • Empowering students to reach their goals through increased self-advocacy and self-awareness