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California State University Fullerton
Center for Autism Applied Developmental Core

About the Core

The Applied Developmental Core is one of the two Cores that constitute the CSUF Center for Autism . Our Core is housed in the College of Health & Human Development, and is focused on developmental and clinical issues in autism.

Core Leaders

Core Leaders

Rachel Fenning Rachel M. Fenning, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Center for Autism

Dr. Fenning is an Associate Professor of Child & Adolescent Studies at Cal State Fullerton. She received her B.A. in psychology from Yale University, her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA, and she completed her clinical internship at the University of Miami, Mailman Center for Child Development. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal State Fullerton, she was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Waisman Center, where she served as Director of Autism Diagnostic Services and also co-led an advisory committee for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on best practice standards for autism diagnosis. Dr. Fenning is an established researcher in the field of developmental disabilities and a licensed clinical psychologist (PSY 25963) with particular expertise in the assessment and treatment of children with developmental risk and/or disability. She is on the Executive Committee of Division 33 of the American Psychological Association (APA), and is a Consulting Editor for the APA journal Psychological Assessment.

Jason Baker Jason K. Baker, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Center for Autism

Dr. Baker received his undergraduate degree from UCLA and worked for several years in the behavioral treatment of autism before obtaining his doctorate in psychology from Penn State (clinical major, developmental minor). He performed his clinical internship at the UCLA Semel Institute with a concentration on the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of South Florida Family Study Center, the University of Miami, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Baker is a Fellow of Division 33 (IDD/ASD) of the American Psychological Association and he will serve as Division President in 2021. Dr. Baker has served on the editorial board for the Journal of Family Psychology since 2011 and he has received federal research funding from the National Institute for Child Health & Human Development.

Associated Faculty

Ioakim Boutakidis Ioakim Boutakidis, Ph.D.
Sociocultural Consultant
Associate Professor of Child & Adolescent Studies
Erica Howell Erica Howell, Ph.D.
Co-Director and Leader of the Education Core, Center for Autism
Associate Professor of Special Education
Diana Robles Nichols Diana Robles Nichols, M.A.
Core Fieldwork Coordinator
Department of Child & Adolescent Studies
Sasha Zeedyk Sasha Zeedyk, Ph.D.
Center Investigator
Assistant Professor of Child & Adolescent Studies

Core Students & Staff

Jacquelyn Moffitt Jacquelyn Moffitt
Core Coordinator
Arielle Garcia Arielle Garcia
Student Clinic Assistant
Patrick Ramirez Patrick Ramirez
Student Advocacy Liaison

For additional information on Student Research Assistants, visit our CAS Family Lab page

Advisory Board

Bianca & Joey Ancona
Parent Advocates, Community Liaisons
Orange County, CA

Joseph H. Donnelly, M.D.
Director, For OC Kids, Orange County, CA
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, UCI Department of Pediatrics

Stephen A. Erath, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies, Auburn University

Tracy Guiou, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Executive Director, Behavioral Education for Children with Autism, Torrance, CA
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Ohio State University

Daniel S. Messinger, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics
University of Miami

Cameron Neece, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Loma Linda University

Timothy Prior, M.S., LMFT., BCBA
Founder & Executive Director, Autism Spectrum Interventions (ASI), Fullerton, CA

Myka Thompson
Parent Advocate
Orange County, CA

Jill Waterman, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Adjunct Professor, UCLA