The Community Autism Intervention Program (CAIP) serves children ages 3 through 12 with medical diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders. Referrals are received through the Tuscaloosa County and Tuscaloosa City School systems for children who require more intensive services due to an autism spectrum disorder.

A multidisciplinary team meets monthly to review each child’s progress in the areas of communication and language, social skill development, independent living skills, and reducing any maladaptive behaviors. This team consists of psychiatrists, nurses, clinicians, social workers, consumer education specialists, teachers, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, mental health workers, representatives of any outside agencies,  school administrators, and parents. Interventions are prescribed individually and may include the PECS system (Picture Symbols), sign language, augmentative communication devices, sensory integration, floor time, social scripts and stories, TEACCH structured teaching, and ABA’s discrete trials.

Programs within CAIP

CAIP offers four services: a Preschool Demonstration Program, an Elementary Autism Classroom, a School Based Program, and a statewide training program for teachers, professionals, and parents.

School Based Program

The School Based Program serves children with autism by providing one-to-one services with each child within the public school environment. The mental health workers receive intensive autism training, including training that is mandated by the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Department of Human Services.

Preschool Demonstration Program

The Preschool Demonstration Program consists of two classrooms of 8-10 children each, ages 3 through 5. Each class has an even number of children with autism as well as typical children. These classrooms are located on the main Brewer-Porch campus and focus on research proposing that the most intensive services at the youngest age possible will afford children with an autism spectrum disorder greater progress and independence while being served in the least restrictive environment. Data is collected on a daily basis to ensure quality individualized services.

This program emphasizes a holistic, eclectic approach to autism. Intensive multidisciplinary services, a large staff consisting of two certified teachers, two clinicians, and eight mental health workers, and high parental involvement (through monthly treatment team meetings, monthly parent meetings, and mandatory parent training) are contributing factors to the program’s success. A four-month transition program enables the children to successfully enter a typical kindergarten program within the public school system.

Admission to this program is by application; applications are typically due in June of the summer before the fall term of enrollment. Read more about the preschool program and download an application.

More Information

Visit our Outpatient FAQs for answers to common questions about our outpatient programs.

Look up contact information for the CAIP.

Apply to the Preschool Demonstration Program.

View a typical daily schedule for this program.