Department of Kinesiology

Autism Clinic

The Autism Clinic is part of the Kinesiology Department in the College of Communication and Education at California State University, Chico.  Nationwide, the prevalence of autism has exploded.  It is estimated that 1 in 68 children in the United States has autism.  Similar increases are recognized around the globe.


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

Our Approach

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.

The Program

The clinic combines multiple disciplines, resources, and support to allow continuous development in a positive environment for Chico State students, individuals with autism, and their families.

Staffed by graduate students and faculty, the clinic provides:

  • A focus on sensory and motor needs
  • Development of interpersonal and self-regulation skills
  • Educational growth and community support
  • Support for language and cognitive development
  • Fitness and nutrition
  • Joint attention, play, and social interaction

Meet our Clinic Team!

Our program benefits the community through:

  • Comprehensive individualized assessment
  • Individual goal setting and intervention for participants
  • Collaborative services with family and school programs
  • School site observations
  • Consultation services for educational planning

Visit Information for Families

Our program benefits university students by:

  • Providing one-on-one interaction with program participants and their families
  • Providing early field experience, expanded training, and resources
  • Collaborating across disciplines

Visit Information for University Students.

Autism Clinic Services

  • Individualized sensory motor services
  • Diagnostic evaluations (ADOS)
  • SAFEE Program
  • Teen/Tween Group Fitness and Nutrition

Related Campus Programs and Services

Current Research