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About Us

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The ASD Screening and Parent ENgagement (ASPEN) Program is a parent-mediated intervention program, that is, parents are trained to be the primary interventionist for their child. ASPEN focuses on naturalistic, developmental, behavioral strategies. These are strategies that are easy to use in the child's natural environment and are aligned within developmental and behavioral milestones.

In the ASPEN Program...

The parent chooses goals that are important to them and their families

Training includes practice, observation, support, and problem solving

Information and strategies focus on daily routines, natural environment

The parent receives support from a professional and a peer

Principal Investigators

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Sandra B. Vanegas, Ph.D.

Dr. Sandra Vanegas is a Research Assistant Professor in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Sandy Magaña, Ph.D., MSW

Dr. Sandy Magaña is the Professor in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.

Current Research Team
Project Coordinator

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Stephany Brown, LMSW

Clinicians

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Kiki Avilez, LMSW

Clinician

ACT LEND Fellow

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Alexis Bacon-Yates, MS Ed.

Clinician

ACT LEND Fellow

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Kayla Trites, MS

Clinician

ACT LEND Fellow

Research Assistants and Associates

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Eric Berger

Graduate  Research Assistant

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Zalia Houben

Undergraduate Research Assistant

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Serline Coelho

Research Associate

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Pari Khawaja

Undergraduate Research Assistant

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Mariana Davila, LSSP

Research Associate

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Felipe Valdez

Undergraduate Research Assistant

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Daniella Garcia

Undergraduate Research Assistant

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Michelle Zhou

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Research Team Alumni

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Suzy Albarran

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Jill Hoffman

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Wajiha Masroor

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Yuria Paez

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Ana-Paula Anaya

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Laura Hopp

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Noah Meah

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Jennifer Davila Valdes

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Jacqueline Borrero

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Christopher Le

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Angela Medrano

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Maria Fernandez

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Cristal Martinez

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Carlos Pavon

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