As one of the nation’s leading research and teaching institutions, the University of Kansas brings a vast network of resources and expertise to support and continually strengthen the work of the Kansas Center on Autism Research and Training (K-CART), established in 2008.
KU provides an invigorating research environment for scholars and practitioners representing more than 100 fields of study – many considered among the top 10 programs nationally. KU has a long and successful record of research collaboration promoted through independent, multidisciplinary research centers that focus on common themes.
Because of this shared focus, collaborations are widespread across university campuses and programs. This institutional climate ensures that K-CART will be positioned to launch its multidisciplinary research and training initiatives efficiently and effectively.
K-CART has already attracted scientists and research-clinicians from both campuses and the unique urban community-based research center, the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project and the Life Span Institute at Parsons, which has distinguished itself in developing research-based human services for underserved parts of Kansas.
K-CART’s leadership includes Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies Steven Warren, Director Debra Kamps, Co-Director Matthew Reese, John Colombo, Jessica Hellings and Linda Heitzman-Powell. They represent K-CART’s depth and breadth of expertise from cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry, and behavioral, clinical and developmental psychology.
At the beginning of 2008, a new collaboration of researchers brought together by the initiative successfully won a grant to develop the statewide training for individuals who will provide services for children with autism through the new Kansas pilot autism Medicaid waiver program. Several members are contributing their time for this effort, called the Autism Training Program. The project will train and retrain a cadre of Kansas service providers to new level of professionalism grounded in evidence-based practice developed at the University of Kansas that will improve the quality of lives of children, families and communities they serve.