Autism Clinic


The mission of the Autism Clinic is to promote the sensory, motor, communicative, and cognitive skills of individuals with pervasive developmental disorders through a multi-sensory approach to learning.

Sensory Motor Sessions

All individuals learn through their senses. However, many children with autism have challenges with regulating their nervous system to maintain a comfortable state of arousal for optimal learning. Individuals may be over or under stimulated by the sensory input from their environment. Sensory input may be perceived as threatening and place the child in heightened state of arousal, stressing the nervous system and placing them in a “fight or flight” response. This heightened state of arousal can inhibit the learning process, although, sensory input can create a “fight or flight” reaction, and inhibit learning , the “right” or needed sensory input can create a sense of calm, allowing for optimal learning to take place.

The clinic's focus on sensory and motor skills is to allow children the opportunity to experience the sensory and motor input they are seeking in order to “balance” their nervous system so that they may focus on learning other skills. Sensory input at the clinic is provided through child directed tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive activities to support the individual's sensory needs. This is followed by and integrated with instruction in specific skills related to movement concepts, skill themes, communication, and social engagement for physical activity and functional life skills.


Units Term

KINE 513 Programming for Individuals with Physical and Neurological Disabilities

Prerequisites: KINE 315 or faculty permission.

A study of prescriptive programming for individuals with orthopedic, neurological, and sensory disabilities. Evaluation of the anatomical and physiological implications and their effect upon psychomotor functioning. 3.0 hours clinical.



KINE 520 Interdisciplinary Autism Clinic

Prerequisites: A survey course on disability, faculty permission.

This course covers the organization, administration, planning, and evaluation of interdisciplinary programming for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The course is for students who are interested in working with children with autism and their families. Students examine research from a variety of disciplines and discuss within interdisciplinary teams the needs and effective support for a child and his or her family via direct service to children with ASD in a University laboratory setting. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units.



Autism in California

Nationwide the prevalence of autism has exploded in the last five years, and nowhere is this more obvious that in California. The California Department of Developmental Services (2007) reported that the number of persons with autism doubled from 1998 to December 2002, reaching more than 20,000 individuals. This same trend has been reached nearly every county in California, including Butte.

Unfortunately, there is no clear explanation for the increase in the number of children who are identified with autism, nor do there seem to be enough programs to meet varied needs of families and children with autism. What is known, is that there is a tremendous need to provide community-based programs for families and their children with autism in the North State.

KINE Course Descriptions