Autism Hub Page

Boy With ASDThe Waisman Center is committed to providing high-quality services to children and adults with autism and their families.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs social interaction, communication, and behavior. It affects approximately one out of every 54 children.

The scope of the Waisman Center’s autism-related activities continues to expand as we actively pursue research into the causes, consequences and treatments of this complex disorder.

We are uniquely positioned to make major advances in the understanding of autism through our multidisciplinary approach and expertise in effectively combining research, training, service, and outreach programs under one roof.

Autism Researchers

Andrew Alexander, PhD

Position title: Professor, Medical Physics and Psychiatry

Karla Ausderau, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Kinesiology

Lauren Bishop, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, School of Social Work

Richard J Davidson, PhD

Position title: William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry

Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD

Position title: Director, University Center for Excellence In Developmental Disabilities

Doug Dean III, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Susan Ellis Weismer, PhD

Position title: Oros Family Chair and Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders

H. Hill Goldsmith, PhD

Position title: Fluno Bascom Professor & Leona Tyler Professor of Psychology

Timothy M. Gomez, PhD

Position title: Professor, Neuroscience

Sigan Hartley, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, 100 Women Chair in Human Ecology

Edward Michael Hubbard, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Educational Psychology

Janet E. Lainhart, MD

Position title: Psychiatrist and Professor, School of Medicine and Public Health

Marsha R. Mailick, PhD

Position title: Emeritus Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education

Robert A. Pearce, MD, PhD

Position title: Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology

Ari Rosenberg, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Computational Neuroscience

Jenny Saffran, PhD

Position title: Distinguished Professor, Psychology

André Sousa, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Neuroscience

Brittany G. Travers, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Kinesiology

Donna Werling, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Genetics

Waisman Autism News

  • Padres e Hijos en Acción

    UCEDD project to address health equity for Latino families of children with developmental disabilities

    Padres e Hijos en Acción and the Waisman Center UCEDD announced a $330,000 grant to improve local health care responsiveness to the needs of Latino families of children with developmental disabilities and other special health care needs in Dane County.

  • Gail Chodron

    Building community connection: from feedmill to autism therapy center

    In the shadow of the Fennimore water tower sits a nondescript metal building. The once-abandoned former feed mill has now become The Learning Center, a unique resource for youth with autism and their families. Therapy …

  • Catherine Kanter, MS, CCC-SLP

    The ECHO Effect

    Project ECHO (the mantra for which is “All teach, all learn”) uses video-conferencing technology to provide education and case consultation on best practice clinical services, training, and resources for individuals with specific healthcare needs that are difficult to meet locally. The Waisman Center ECHO platform will serve as a diagnostic and treatment training hub to share the center’s expertise on intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy, throughout the state and beyond.

  • Travers boy playing wii

    Balancing act: what motor function can tell us about autism

    Can the way a person moves be a key identifier of autism? It’s a question that Waisman Center investigator Brittany Travers, PhD, is trying to answer.

  • The Social Brain: A Beautiful Mind

    What images come to mind when you hear the phrase social brain? Do you think of children running around on a playground laughing together? Do you think of problem solving or imagine colorful brain scans? Do you think of autism? These are the questions that inspired a breadth of autism research that was recently evaluated by a team of Waisman scientists and compiled into a new literature review.

  • More Posts

Autism-Related Research at Waisman

  • Adolescence and adulthood
  • Brain imaging
  • Epidemiology
  • Family outcomes
  • Health and Aging
  • Molecular basis of ASD
  • Quality of life
  • Speech, communication and language

Resources & Services

Research Participation | 800.965.9205; 608.263.5192;; Participate in Research
The Waisman Center’s Research Registry links individuals and families to research projects at the Waisman Center. The Waisman Center maintains a confidential registry of families and individuals who would like to be contacted about upcoming research projects. Enrollment in the Research Registry does not obligate an individual or family to participate in any study.

Community Outreach for Children with Challenging Behaviors | 608.265.9438;
Community Training, Intervention and Evaluations Services (TIES) is an outreach program for children and adults with developmental disabilities who present various challenging behaviors, including withdrawal, aggression and self-injury. The mission of Community TIES is to address behavioral, psychological, and emotional needs using therapeutic approaches that insure continued participation in the community. TIES provides counseling, crisis response, psychiatric consultation, parent education and support, and training for personnel and program consultation in local human service agencies. Directed by Josh Lapin, MSW, and funded by Dane County, this program maintains an active caseload of approximately 250 children and adults in Dane County.

Well Badger Resource Center | 800-642-7837; text: (608) 360-9328;;
When you have questions about health and social services, figuring out where to go when you need help can be overwhelming. We’re here to make it easier. Well Badger Resource Center is your one-stop connection to community, social, health, and government programs — a place to find what you need, when you need it.