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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
What We Provide:
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.
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.
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
and Diagnostic Evaluations
contact the AARTS Center at (312) 942-0819
contact Natalie Forburger, Outreach Coordinator at (312) 563-2272 or email: Natalie_M_Forburger@rush.edu
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.
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 942-0819
Fax: (312) 942-2410
Outpatient Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
2150 W. Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 942-7473
Fax: (312) 942-8576