Coach to Communicate (C2C)

December 12, 2018

Pictured in front: Dr. Cynthia Riccio, Dr. Jeffrey Liew, Dr. Jennifer Ganz, Ching-Yi Liao, April Haas Back Row: Kimberly Williams, Shannon Clark, Kaitlyn Stein, Sarah Ura
Pictured in front: Dr. Cynthia Riccio, Dr. Jeffrey Liew, Dr. Jennifer Ganz, Ching-Yi Liao, April Haas Back Row: Kimberly Williams, Shannon Clark, Kaitlyn Stein, Sarah Ura

The Coach To Communicate project provides a webinar and face-to-face/online individual parent coaching sessions at no cost for parents, caregivers, teachers, and service providers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Participants will be instructed in how to improve the communication skills of their own children.

This project serves Texas parents, caregivers, teachers, or service providers who have a child up to age 22 with autism spectrum disorder or similar characteristics and who need instruction in communication skills.

Webinar on Autism and Communication Instruction

Attend a free online webinar on ways to improve the communication skills of children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. Service providers may also attend this webinar.

The steps to complete this are as follows:

Intensive Parent Coaching

Parents may register for intensive, individual coaching sessions to learn to implement a communication intervention with their children. Your child will also receive communication/behavioral assessments and an individualized communication parent treatment plan.

  • Complete online module

Webinar/Online Self-Paced

Parents and service providers may attend a 2-hour webinar on techniques to help increase their children's social communication skills

  • 2 hours
  • Can be accessed anytime
  • Overview of parenting techniques intended to increase your child's social communication skills
  • Once the webinar is completed, parents can sign up for individual coaching sessions, if they wish:
  • One-on-one coaching
  • 1-hour sessions
  • 12-14 sessions total
  • Scheduled according to parent availability offered year-round
  • Available in English, Spanish, Chinese, or Thai

Resources for Parents

Our Team:

Jennifer Ganz, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Project Director
Jeni Ganz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is the project director for C2C. She has been a professor of special education at Texas A&M University since 2008. Dr. Ganz has provided services for individuals with autism and their families since 1996, as a teacher, consultant, behavior analyst, and project director/principal investigator. Her research focuses on working with natural communication partners to improve communication in individuals with autism. Language proficiency: English, beginning Spanish

Jeffrey Liew, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Liew is a professor and a developmental and learning scientist in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Liew's expertise is on social-emotional development spanning early childhood through emerging adulthood. He also has experience working as a behavioral therapist and designing/implementing individualized education programs (IEPs) with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities.

Cynthia Riccio, Ph.D.
Language proficiency: 

Ching-Yi Liao, M.Ed.
Project Coordinator/Parent Coach
Ching-Yi Liao, M.Ed., is the project coordinator for C2C. She is currently a doctoral student in the Special Education doctoral program at Texas A&M University. She holds Master's degrees in Special Education and Early Childhood Education and has 7 years of experience working with individuals with autism and their families. Her current research interest focuses on culturally responsive parent training to teach parents and caregivers of individuals with autism to use evidence-based behavioral and communication strategies. anguage proficiency: Mandarin and English

April Haas, M.Ed., BCBA
Coach Supervisor
April Haas, M.Ed., BCBA is the project coordinator for PREP and a supervisor for C2C.  She is currently a Special Education doctoral student at Texas A&M and has been serving families and children with autism for 11 years. Her research focuses on working with children with autism and their peers to increase academic and social skills. anguage proficiency: English

Sarah Ura
Assessment Coordinator
Sarah Ura is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. For the C2C Project, she coordinates and interprets all of the formal assessments of child behavior. She has worked in a therapeutic role with children and adolescents with a range of communication, behavioral, and emotional difficulties since 2004. Sarah's research interests center on how child symptoms are measured and used to inform practice and bias in special education evaluations.

Kaitlyn Stein, M.Ed.
Technical Assistance
Kaitlyn Stein, M.Ed, provides all technical assistance to parents for the C2C project. She is a third year doctoral student in the Educational Psychology department majoring in counseling psychology. While completing her undergraduate degree, Kaitlyn volunteered working with children with ASD at  the Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center. Her main research interests include therapeutic outcomes and therapeutic interventions. Language proficiency: English

Sanikan Wattanawongwan, M.S.
Parent Coach
Sanikan Wattanawongwan, M.S., is a coach for C2C. She is a Ph.D. graduate research assistant in Special Education from Bangkok, Thailand. Sanikan has provided services for individuals with autism in Thailand and the United States in school, clinic, and home settings. She is particularly interested in coaching families and paraprofessionals to improve appropriate behavior, enhance communication and social skills, and reduce challenging behavior for individuals with autism.
Language proficiency: English, Thai

Shannon Clark, M.Ed.
Parent Coach
Shannon Clark, M.Ed., is a coach for the C2C project.  She is a third-year doctoral student in the Educational Psychology department with a specialization in School Psychology.  Shannon has four years of experience in working with individuals with ASD.  She has worked in clinics, homes and schools providing ABA therapy, as well as classroom support.  She is particularly interested in working with children and adolescents focusing on internalizing disorders, such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem and body dissatisfaction. Language proficiency: English

Lauren Trojacek, M.S., CCC-SLP
Parent Coach
Lauren Trojacek, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a parent coach for C2C.  Lauren assessed and treated children and adolescents with speech and language impairments for four years prior to coming back to Texas A&M.  She is currently enrolled in the special education division of the Educational Psychology doctoral program. Her research interests include communication interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders and complex communication needs who are minimally verbal. Language proficiency: English        

Valeria Yllades, M.Ed., RBT
Parent Coach
Valeria Yllades, M.Ed., RBT, is a coach for the C2C project. She is a first year doctoral student in the Educational Psychology department with a specialization in Special Education. She has helped individuals with autism for 6 years as a researcher, registered behavior technician, therapist, and parent coach. Her main areas of interest are autism spectrum disorders, communicative interventions for bilingual individuals with ASD, and visual supports. Language proficiency: English, Spanish

Kimberly Williams
Language proficiency: 

If you are interested in participating in this project, complete the online application form at Contact our technical support graduate assistant, Kaitlyn Stein, at [email protected] if you have any difficulties with the application.

This project has on-going enrollment, so you may participate right away or your services may start later in the year.

For more information about our project please contact our project coordinator, Ching-Yi Liao, at [email protected].