Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders

The Murray State University Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD) was created in 2019 to help meet the unique needs of children with developmental disorders, including autism, and their families. The CASD was designed to accomplish three goals:

  1. Provide timely and affordable diagnostic evaluations for children who demonstrate at-risk symptoms for ASD
  2. Offer a continuum of services for children and families experiencing challenges associated with ASD
  3. Engage the community through service and awareness activities to promote the well-being of all children

The Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders is a University training clinic that staffs students in psychology and education under the direct supervision of certified faculty at Murray State. This model allows the facility to offer flexible options for families who might not have a cost-effective option otherwise, while providing a quality training opportunity for University students.

Please click the drop-down fields below to learn more about our services.

Diagnostic Testing Services

The CASD partners with the Murray State Assessment Center to provide diagnostic testing for children and youth suspected of having autism or a related disorder. Testing is available for ages birth up to 18 years old with ASD-specific evaluations beginning as early as 12 months. Evaluations are supervised by a Kentucky-licensed psychologist and a team of school psychology graduate students.

The cost of an evaluation is $250, and all testing fees go toward supporting the CASD!

Please contact the Murray State Assessment Center at 270.809.6305 or msu.assessmentcenter@murraystate.edu to learn more or schedule an evaluation.

Medical Providers: Please have your clients contact us directly. We do not take outside referrals.

Early Childhood Program

The Early Childhood Program provides individualized intervention in an early childhood classroom environment to children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old who have autism or other related needs. The classroom is located in the John W. Carr Hall building and operates Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon during academic semesters. A Kentucky-licensed psychologist, early childhood professional, and a team of school psychology graduate students supervise the classroom.

The cost of the Early Childhood Program is $15 per day. All tuition fees fund the day-to-day operations of the classroom.

Consultations and Workshops

The CASD is happy to provide consultation services to families who request help to address specific concerns. Consultations are arranged on an individual basis and may include psychoeducation, parent skills training, and live coaching. Please contact us if you’re interested in scheduling consultation!

The CASD also provides workshops that are open to the community. These will be advertised on the Murray State University College of Education and Human Services social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) as they are scheduled.

Examples of workshops include:
  • Autism 101
  • Understanding Challenging Behavior
  • Foundations of Learning
  • IEPs and 504s
  • Promoting Play Skills
  • Establishing Routines
  • Sensory Issues
  • Sleep Problems
  • Developing Social Skills
  • Teaching First Requests
  • Teaching New Skills
  • Toilet Training
  • Promoting Compliance
  • Life After School
  • ...and more!

Please recommend additional training topics!

School Services

The CASD is led by a number of University faculty with extensive experience working in public schools, including general and special education, school psychology, and behavior analysis. We are happy to work with local school districts to support students and staff!

School districts can request the following services with us:

  • Independent educational evaluations (IEE)
  • Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and behavior intervention plan (BIP) development
  • Teacher or staff consultation
  • Systems-level consultation and school improvement for ASD
  • Teacher workshops (e.g., PLC)
  • Professional development for CEUs
  • Other related services

Please contact Dr. Sean Simons at 270.809.2593 or ssimons2@murraystate.edu to learn more!

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the CASD accept insurance?
No, we do not currently accept insurance. Please contact us to learn more about scholarship opportunities!

How long do families wait for testing?
On average, a family seeking an evaluation with our clinic would wait between 6 to 8 weeks for an appointment.

Does my child need to have an ASD diagnosis to qualify for the Early Childhood Program?
No, an ASD diagnosis is not required. Although our center specializes in ASD-related challenges, we are happy to provide appropriate services for children and families who are experiencing similar difficulties.


For Testing:

Murray State University Assessment Center
270.809.6305
msu.assessmentcenter@murraystate.edu


For the Early Childhood Program, Trainings, and Workshops:

Dr. Jessica Branch
Dr. Jessica Branch
Early Childhood Program Coodinator
     and Assistant Professor of IECE
3239 Alexander Hall
Murray, KY 42071
jbranch1@murraystate.edu
270.809.4158

For School Services:

Dr. Sean Simons
Dr. Sean Simons
CASD Director
     and Assistant Professor of School Psychology
3218 Alexander Hall
Murray, KY 42071
ssimons2@murraystate.edu
270.809.2593

For more information on ASD, please visit the following resources.


“There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do, instead of what he cannot do.” - Dr. Temple Grandin