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Autism Assessment, Research, Treatment and Services (AARTS) Center

Welcome to the Autism Assessment, Research, Treatment & Services (AARTS) Center. Clinical services at the AARTS Center include comprehensive assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder, bridging gaps to create a seamless continuum of evidence-based care.

Specialists at the AARTS Center believe in a multidisciplinary approach. We work with colleagues throughout the Medical Center while integrating clinical care with research to improve the mental health and quality of life of children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder.

Searching out appropriate supports and services can be daunting - even overwhelming. We are here to assist you and your family with this process. We provide patients and loved ones with services from professionals who are dedicated to providing evidence-based evaluations and treatment options for people with autism spectrum disorder.

MEET OUR TEAM

Tokyo Broom, is the Organization Specialist for the AARTS Center.  In this role, he is charged with the development of day-to-day administrative protocols and special projects for the AARTS Center.  Prior to joining the AARTS team, Tokyo worked in an administrative assistance capacity in outpatient psychiatry at Rush. Tokyo studied Psychology at Culver Stockton before traveling and working with MTV for 10 years as an Assistant Production Director in Santa Monica California, New York, and Miami.

Heather Digby, PsyD, is a postdoctoral fellow with the AARTS program.  She has an extensive history of therapeutic and diagnostic interventions with children and adolescents.  At AARTS, Dr. Digby is completing a two-year clinical fellowship specializing in the treatment and evaluation of individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

J​ason Earle, Ph.D., MS, PMHNP-BC will be working as a psychiatric nurse practitioner at AARTS involved with research and assisting clients with medication management. He has previously worked with clients on the autism spectrum in early intervention and community mental health settings. Jason received his MS in psychiatric mental health nursing from the University of California-San Francisco, CA. He also has an MS and PhD in education from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Natalie Forburger, LCPC, is an outreach coordinator for the AARTS Center and an essential contributor to the Autism Resources Directory powered by the AARTS Center.  She is an Illinois-licensed clinical professional counselor who is committed to building productive relationships within the community to improve quality of life for people with autism.

Daniel Graber is a research assistant within the AARTS Center. He assists with the coordination of various types of research including clinical trials, medication studies, as well as behavioral intervention research. In addition, Daniel provides support for activities such as data entry, video coding, regulatory submissions, and patient evaluations as well as serving as a co-therapist.

Katy Heerwagen is the community outreach specialist for the AARTS Center.  Ms. Heerwagen is also a second-year Master’s student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Psychology at Loyola University Chicago.  As a graduate trainee at AARTS, she supports Rush Psychiatry’s Autism Clinic, performs school and home-based observations, provides individual psychotherapy, and assists in the evaluation process.  Before joining the AARTS team, Katy worked as a Community Services Assistant with the Autism Society of North Carolina, where she provided direct services and trained new staff.  Prior to that role, she was a Special Education teacher, grades 6-8, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

Ann Hermes Tudor, LCSW, is the executive director of the AARTS Center.   She served in the role of outreach director for the AARTS Center for two years prior to assuming the responsibilities of executive director.   Ms. Tudor is also a clinician and has extensive experience providing therapy to young adults on the autism spectrum and their families.  She previously served as the director of social service for the Little Sisters of the Poor in Chicago where she provided supportive and therapeutic services to residents and their families and worked as a liaison between the agency and the community.  Ms. Tudor was also responsible for programmatic oversight, staff management and education.  Ms. Tudor attended Loyola University’s Graduate school of Social Work.  She received her Bachelor of Art in psychology and sociology from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame.   She is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Louis J. Kraus, MD, DFAPA, FAACAP, is the director and founder of the AARTS Center.  Dr. Kraus is also Woman's Board Professor and Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  He is a federal court monitor in a consent decree with the American Civil Liberties Union and the federal Attorney General’s office. In this role, he monitors and makes suggestions regarding mental health treatment at all juvenile justice facilities in Illinois. Kraus is also the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA). His work with the AMA includes serving as the chair of the AMA committee on Science and Public Health. Kraus is on the American Psychiatric (APA) Foundation board and recently finished his term as chair of the Committee of Children Adolescents and Families. While continuing to still be on the committee, Kraus is also on the APA political action committee board of directors. Much of Kraus’ work focuses on child and adolescent psychiatry and the law, and clinical interventions, as well as education work and advocacy for children.


 

Jane Lee, MSW is a research assistant in the AARTS Center. She coordinates and provides data management support for clinical trials. She has an interest in outreach, where she assists in building up the center’s autism resource directory, as well as being involved with Autism Speaks.

Michelle Lee, MS is a fourth year clinical psychology PhD student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She has several years of experience assessing and treating children and their families as well as conducting research related to characterizing language development in ASD. At AARTS, Michelle is completing a clinical psychology externship that includes assessment and treatment of individuals with ASD.

Soo Lee, MD, is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist at the AARTS Center.  Dr. Lee interests are in clinical work, clinical drug trials, and access to care for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.   Dr. Lee has been involved with clinical research as an undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, with psychotropic drug trials in various pediatric psychiatric disorders at the University of Chicago, and drugs trials in autism during her child psychiatry fellowship at Rush University Medical Center.

Rachel Loftin, PhD, is clinical director for the AARTS Center. She is on faculty in the psychiatry departments at both Rush University Medical Center and the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Loftin specializes in evaluations, consultation and interventions for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other social challenges. She has an extensive background in educational, behavioral and social intervention approaches for individuals with ASD and related conditions. Dr. Loftin received her Ph.D. from Indiana University and completed pre- and postdoctoral child psychology training at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Loftin previously worked in private practice and held a faculty position at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At Yale and UIC, she was involved with several major research studies of ASDs, including studies of early identification of autism. Dr. Loftin consults in criminal and educational legal cases involving people with ASD. Her current research interests include sexuality education for young adults with ASD.

Sophia Martinez is the Operations Manager for the AARTS Center. She has been with the center for three years, and has taken the administrative lead for the program. Prior to beginning with AARTS, Ms. Martinez was a paralegal at Kirkland and Ellis, LLP. She graduated from the University of Illinois with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice.

Allison Mischel is a clinical research coordinator within the AARTS Center. She coordinates various types of research including clinical trials, medication studies, as well as behavioral intervention research. Allison assists the team by providing support for a number of different outlets including IRB and paper submissions as well as collaboration projects with other departments within Rush University’s diverse medical center.

Anne Snow Gallagher, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in the AARTS Center. Dr. Snow Gallagher specializes in the evaluation of autism spectrum disorder in infants, toddlers, and school age children.  She also has extensive experience in treating behavioral problems in this population, as well as conducting interventions focused on improving social functioning. Dr. Snow Gallagher received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University, completed predoctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed postdoctoral child psychology training at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Snow Gallagher previously worked at Boston Children’s Hospital and held a faculty position at Harvard Medical School.

Latha V. Soorya, PhD, BCBA is the research director for the AARTS Center.   She is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Soorya brings expertise in diagnosis and intervention development to the research program. She has served as the lead psychologist on federally funded, multi-site ASD research programs to guide measurement strategies for clinical trials and genetic studies. Prior to joining the AARTS Center, Dr. Soorya was the Chief Psychologist at the Seaver Autism Center at the Icahn School of Medicine where she oversaw clinical research programming for the genetics, clinical, and pharmaceutical trials.  She completed her graduate training in clinical psychology at SUNY-Binghamton and fellowship at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  Dr. Soorya has a strong commitment to mentoring and training young professionals and developed psychology externship & fellowship programs at Mount Sinai and Rush.  Dr. Soorya’s research program seeks to develop multi-modal interventions with capacity to address the complex, heterogeneous phenotype of ASD and has been supported by NIH, Autism Speaks, the Brinson Foundation, and NARSAD. Dr. Soorya leads a talented research team at the AARTS Center with current studies focused on evaluating novel pharmacological agents to augment core social deficits in ASD, natural history investigation of rare genetic disorders associated with ASD, and clinical-research registries to promote research participation in the ASD community.

Allie Wainer, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow with the AARTS Center. She has extensive experience with assessment and behavioral intervention for individuals with ASD. She is completing a two year research fellowship, during which she will focus on ways to increase access to intervention for young children with ASD.

Sarah Youngkin, MPH, is a clinical research coordinator within the AARTS Center. She coordinates and supports medication, behavioral and combined treatment research studies within AARTS. She is also trained to administer diagnostic assessments for individuals with ASD and has been working with families with autism for over 10 years.​

Services

What We Provide:

Specialists at the AARTS Center at Rush University Medical Center believe in a multidisciplinary approach.  We work with colleagues throughout the Medical Center while integrating clinical care with research to improve the mental health and quality of life of children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that appears in early childhood and continues throughout a person’s life.  Signs and symptoms of ASD vary by individual and may evolve as a person gets older.  People may struggle with social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication, and they may engage in repetitive or unusual behaviors.
 
Searching out appropriate supports and services can be daunting.  We are here to assist you and your family in this process.  We provide patients and loved ones with services from professionals who are dedicated to providing evidenced-based evaluations and treatment options for people with ASD.
 
If you are interested in:
·         Assessments and Diagnostic Evaluations
·         Medication Management
·         Program Evaluations
·         Progress Monitoring
Please contact the AARTS Center at (312) 942-0819


·      Social Skills Groups
·      Autism Resource Directory
Please contact Natalie Forburger, Outreach Coordinator at (312) 563-2272 or email: Natalie_M_Forburger@rush.edu

·      Research Opportunities
·      Clinical Trials
Please contact Sarah Youngkin, Research Coordinator at (312) 942-5431 or email: Sarah_Youngkin@rush.edu

Find us on the web at: http://www.rush.edu/autism

Accreditation and Recognition

Autism Assessment, Research, Treatment & Services (AARTS) Center
1645 W. Jackson Blvd.
Westgate Building
Suite 603
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 942-0819
Fax: (312) 942-2410
Driving Directions

Outpatient Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
West Campus
2150 W. Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 942-7473
Fax: (312) 942-8576
Driving Directions

Practice Resources

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