The Experts

Meet the autism experts who helped us develop Robots4Autism

Dr. Pamela Rollins

MS CCC-SLP, Ed.D, University of Texas – Dallas

Pamela Rollins, MS Ed.D. has devoted more than 30 years to research, teaching and clinical practice in service of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. She is a certified clinical speech language pathologist who holds a doctorate of from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Her early research focused on:

  • The critical evaluation of language measures
  • The development of social-communication tools that could be used with typical children and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Currently, Dr. Rollins is researching:

  • Using social-communication tools in defining learning and communication processes associated with acquisition of social communication and language children and adults with ASD

From 2003 to 2010 Dr. Rollins was the founding Director of the Early Communication, Language & Social Skills (CLASS) Preschool for children with ASD at University of Texas-Dallas, Callier Center for Communication Disorders.

The theoretical underpinnings and social skills curriculum is the focus her book, Early Communication, Language & Social Skills: From Theory to Practice, which was published by Autism and Aspergers Press in the Spring of 2014.

Dr. Rollins teaches graduate level courses on the assessment and treatment of children with ASD at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, part of the School of Behavior and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas in Dallas.

She is also a three-time gubernatorial appointed member of the Texas Council for Autism and PDD and holds leadership positions on many of the Texas early identification and intervention planning and implementation initiatives for ASD.

Carolyn Garver, PhD

Program Director Autism Treatment Center – Dallas

Dr. Carolyn Garver holds a PhD in Health Studies and has been the Program Director for the Autism Treatment Center in Dallas since 1979. She was an Adjunct Professor teaching Epidemiology at Texas Woman’s University; has published numerous studies and articles; and spoken to many groups around the world regarding the autism spectrum.

Dr. Garver has provided diagnostics, treatment and care for people with autism for the past 34 years. Her passion for working with children on the autism spectrum is a life long journey and has helped make her a recognized expert in autism.

Her research has focused on:

  • Neuro feedback
  • Assistive technology devices
  • Sensory issues in autism
  • Play-based intervention

She has also participated in an NIMH study with Children’s Medical Center and a study of Sensory Motor Function in Children with Autism with the University of North Texas health Science Center, Fort Worth.

She is a member of the National Association of Residential Providers of Adults with Autism (NARPAA), Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) and was a consultant for the Burkhart Center Autism Program, Texas Tech University.

Michelle N. McFarlin

MS,CCC-SLP-Clinical Speech Language Pathologist

Michelle N. McFarlin, MS, CCC-SLP, received a Master’s of Science in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas-Callier Center for Communication Disorders, and is a certified clinical Speech Language Pathologist who specializes in autism.

For the past 15 years, she has been actively involved in research and clinical service to young children with ASD and their families. After receiving her masters, Mrs. McFarlin was employed as a faculty associate at the Callier Center where she

  • provided evaluations and individual speech-language intervention for children with a variety of communication disorders;
  • designed and participated in research activities with two- to five-year olds with characteristics of ASD;
  • co-developed the Callier Individualized Descriptive Supplement (CIDS), a qualitative assessment instrument for young children with ASD;
  • participated in comprehensive multi-disciplinary autism evaluations;
  • was clinical supervisor and coordinator of the Early CLASS (Communication, Language, and Social Skills) Program; and
  • co-wrote the social skills curriculum for the Early CLASS with Dr. Pamela Rollins.

Mrs. McFarlin now works in a private speech-language pathology practice, specializing in service to families affected by ASD. As founder of her current private practice, The Social Communication Connection, Mrs. McFarlin’s mission is education and empowerment of families of newly diagnosed children with autism.

In addition to her work as an autism consultant and speaker, Mrs. McFarlin’s social skills curriculum, Early Communication, Language, and Social Skills: From Theory to Practice, was publlished alongside Dr. Pamela Rollins in the Spring of 2014.