Baylor University and McLane Children’s Scott & White Partner to Open Center for Developmental Disabilities

April 1, 2014
BCDD open house 2

Baylor First Lady Alice Starr shares a laugh with one of the BCDD visitors. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing and Communications)

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Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities will serve children and families in the Central Texas area

WACO, Texas (April 1, 2014) – In an effort to provide expanded assessment and therapy services for Central Texas children with developmental disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Baylor University and McLane Children's Scott & White today launched the Baylor University Center for Developmental Disabilities (BCDD) during a celebration and open house at the clinic's new home at Hillcrest MacArthur Center, 2201 MacArthur Dr., in Waco. The ceremony coincided with the first day of National Autism Awareness Month.

A standing-room-only crowd of well-wishers heard from Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr; Drayton McLane Jr., chair of the board of trustees for Scott & White Healthcare and Baylor Regent Emeritus; and John Boyd III, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer at McLane Children's Scott & White, who commended the collaborative effort that made the BCDD a reality.

"One of my life passages is from Ecclesiastes: 'Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.' The Center represents and embodies collaboration," Starr said. "For families with children with developmental disabilities, it's just a challenge, and it's an everyday, almost every moment challenge. So what a blessing this is. This is great science and great humanity, all rolled into one, and we call it collaboration."

McLane and Boyd both noted the collaboration between Baylor and McLane Children's Scott & White is about improving the quality of life for children with developmental disabilities.

"If we looked at this a year ago, Temple was Scott & White, Waco was Baylor University and Dallas was Baylor Health Care, all separate institutions, and we had a children's hospital that was just coming out of the ground," McLane said. "And then we are here today on the first of April 2014, and we have super teamwork. They say all of politics is local. This is local. This is fitting in to Central Texas and bringing development to youngsters and families that need it. I've been overwhelmed by what I've seen today. It's going to make a huge difference in Central Texas."

"McLane Children's Hospital and Clinics has always been a resource for our community. We said that from the day we opened our door. This Center is just an example of once again us partnering with Baylor University to make a resource for our children and families in the community," Boyd said. "Children with developmental disabilities have been ignored for many, many years. Through collaborations like we have here today, we can make a dent in the future so these children will have a better life and these families will have a better life. On behalf of McLane Children's Hospital and Clinics, I want to thank my colleagues at Baylor University and look forward to the success of the Center."

The BCDD combines the support of a major healthcare system in Scott & White with Baylor University's educational and health services and programs to serve children with development disabilities and their families in Waco and the Central Texas region. The Center combines service providers in one central location to synchronize services and provide better coordination and communication for children and families.

"The opening of the Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities marks three years of development and support emanating in part from the passion of Dr. Alma Golden of Scott & White and Baylor's First Lady Alice Starr," said Jon Engelhardt, Ph.D., dean of Baylor's School of Education. "This project was motivated by the goal of providing coordinated health and educational services for children with developmental and behavioral disabilities and their families. One of its main purposes is to help parents have easy access to relevant services without having to discover where such services are located, among a myriad of agencies and locations spread across the community."

The Center concentrates on addressing complex issues of children with developmental disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), through its cooperative research, educational and service programs. The Center also serves as a training venue for Baylor students, who are preparing for related professional careers, also to provide services for children.

The Center currently is composed of three clinics within two divisions: The Behavioral and Educational Services Division contains the Baylor Autism Resource Clinic (BARC) and the Clinic for Assessment, Research and Education (CARE), while the Speech Language Pathology Division houses the Speech and Language Clinic.

BARC services include various disability assessments, social skills groups, autism summer day camp, resource and material library, special education consultation and advocacy services. CARE provides functional behavior evaluations, behavioral therapy, parent and educational consultation, and educational assessments.

The Speech and Language Clinic mirrors the services it provides on the Baylor campus by providing comprehensive evaluation and treatment for patients of all ages with difficulties in communication processes or swallowing. The range of services includes: screenings, consultation regarding communication delays and disorders, comprehensive evaluations and treatment for speech language, and hearing habilitation and rehabilitation.

The BCDD intends to provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research by combining expertise in medicine, education, psychology, speech and language, among other disciplines.

"We are excited about the collaboration between the Baylor University Center for Developmental Disabilities and McLane Children's Scott & White," said Eric L. Robinson, Ph.D., director of the BCDD and associate professor of educational psychology in Baylor's School of Education. "The ability to combine high quality and multidisciplinary services for children with developmental needs, offer advanced training opportunities for students and collaborate on research projects will make the Center a unique and valuable resource for Central Texas and beyond."


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Founded in 1919, the Baylor School of Education (SOE) prepares leaders through four departments in two broad program areas, Professional/Teacher Education and Health Education. Leadership preparation begins in undergraduate programs, continues through master's level work, and culminates in both Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs. The SOE impacts the world as students participate in faculty-guided fieldwork, service learning, and community-focused research in local and global contexts. The school shapes the future by mentoring the whole person, developing an understanding of theory and practice, and encouraging responsiveness to one's calling.


McLane Children's Hospital Scott & White is the only pediatric hospital between Dallas and Austin. It encompasses 112 inpatient beds – 48 private rooms and 16 Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) rooms, with another 48 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) beds at Scott & White Memorial Hospital. The McLane Children's network of clinics provides primary and specialty pediatric care in convenient locations across Central Texas. McLane Children's has been designed to support staff in delivering family-centered care in a healing and secure environment.