Sponsored by The Civitan International Research Center

The Child specialty track of the UAB - BVAMC Clinical Psychology Internship Consortium provides exposure to diverse and complex clinical populations in a wide variety of settings, including Civitan-Sparks Interdisciplinary Clinics (a LEND/UCEDD training site), Children's of Alabama, and Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health. The diversity of settings and role functions afford numerous opportunities to interface with physicians, other health care professionals, schools, state agencies, advocates, and mental health professionals. All services emphasize the need to impact systems of care and individual lives though clinical service delivery to individuals and families, community education, and advocacy. Along with their supervisors, child interns are members of interdisciplinary teams throughout most of their rotations.

In conjunction with their yearlong supervisor, each intern develops an individualized training plan based on their training goals and clinical emphasis. The primary training method is experiential (i.e., direct service delivery) and supervision plays a central role in the learning process. Supervision is augmented by a wide variety of didactic seminars, observation of staff conducting clinical services, guided reading, and consultative support. Several opportunities for mentoring are available to the interns. In addition to their yearlong supervisor and rotation preceptors, interns have opportunities to pursue mentoring opportunities with other clinical faculty based on their research and clinical interests. Interns also participate in weekly individual and, when available, group supervision sessions. A vertical team approach is employed in some settings and interns may be provided opportunities to supervise undergraduate and graduate level psychology students.

The combined Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology Internship Track is a component of the UAB - BVAMC Clinical Psychology Internship Consortium. Internship application materials and additional information regarding the UAB Internship Program can be found here.

Didactic Experience
The following is a sample of recurring didactic seminars and lectures available to the intern each year. *Attendance is mandatory to the first two lecture series.

  • Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Core Lecture Series*
  • Psychology Training Consortium Seminar Series*
  • Autism Journal Club
  • Adolescent Medicine Seminars and Online Curriculum
  • UAB Neuropsychology Case Conference
  • UAB/Children's of Alabama Epilepsy Case Conference
  • UAB Pediatric Grand Rounds
  • UAB Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Grand Rounds
  • CIRC Neurosciences seminar


Austin, Heather (PhD, Auburn University, 2003); Pediatric Psychologist in Private Practice at Ackerson and Associates; Assistant Professor, UAB Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) program; Adjunct Assistant Professor UAB Department of Psychology; interests include child, adolescent, and family based therapy for both externalizing and internalizing disorders, youth with chronic illness, adolescents with multiple needs, and assessing and treating overweight children.

Biasini, Fred J. (PhD, The University of Alabama, 1984); Associate Professor Psychology; Infants, toddlers, and young children at risk for disabilities.

Domnanovich, Kristy A. (PhD, University of Southern Mississippi, 2010); Clinical Psychologist at the Civitan-Sparks Clinics; assessment of children at-risk for developmental disabilities; psycho-educational and behavioral assessment of school-aged children.

Houser, John (PhD, School Psychology, Indiana University, 2010); Clinical Psychologist at the Civitan-Sparks Clinics; interests include children with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities, psychoeducational assessment and service provision, school and community partnerships, philosophical psychology.

Madan-Swain, Avi (PhD, Georgia State University, 1998; PhD, Purdue University, 1984); l Associate Professor Pediatrics, UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Children’s of Alabama; Director Hope-and-Cope Program, Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, Pediatric Psychologist and Neuropsychologist.

Marullo, Dan (PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1993); Children’s Behavioral Health at Children’s of Alabama; Pediatric Psychologist, neuropsychological and psychological assessment, consultation and assessment for Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Solid Organ Transplant, Stem Cell Unit, and Pediatric HIV Clinic.

Mastin, Michelle (PhD, University of Mississippi, 2003); Program Director for the Children’s of Alabama Intensive Feeding Program; Licensed Clinical Psychologist; interests include children with feeding disorders and complex medical issues, pediatric psychology, internalizing disorders.

O’Kelley, Sarah (PhD, The University of Alabama, 2006); Clinical Psychologist at the Civitan-Sparks Clinics; children with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities; evaluation and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders; child, adolescent, and family-based therapy (individual and group), and school consultation.

Stoppelbein, Laura (PhD, The University of Alabama, 2003); Associate Professor Psychology; clinical psychologist and Vice President of Clinical Services at Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Systems; Interests include developmental psychopathology; stress and coping responses among children and families and how this impacts the presentation of psychopathology; pediatric psychology.

Thompson, Matthew (Psy.D., Nova Southeastern University, 1997); Clinical Neuropsychologist at Children’s of Alabama; neuropsychological evaluation of children with epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological conditions.

Wallace, Marion (Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi, 2012); Assistant Professor/Clinical Psychologist in Department of Psychiatry; Clinical director for inpatient adolescent unit whose mission is to improve the lives of adolescents with the highest acuity of mental illness by providing exceptional innovative and compassionate care to the adolescent patients and their families. Patients are offered a variety of therapeutic and leisure activities.

Rotations and Supervisors
Training Year Description:
Interns participate in the three Major rotations (described in detail below) and three Minor rotations. A Major rotation typically reflects a time commitment of three days and a Minor rotation reflects a two-day commitment. The specific content and sequence of rotations are determined following a meeting with the year-long supervisor and the rotation supervisors. Below are two sample rotation schedules.

Sample Rotation Schedules


Sample A


1st Rotation


2nd Rotation

3rd Rotation



Houser, Biasini, Domnanovich


Marullo, Austin


Domnanovich, Houser


Outpatient Neuropsychology


Adult Rotation



3-4 year long outpatient therapy cases


Sample B


1st Rotation


2nd Rotation

3rd Rotation




Thompson, Marullo




Houser, Biasini, Domnanovich



Adult Rotation



Project Heroes



3-4 year long outpatient therapy cases

Major Rotations:
The sequence of majors and the specific content of each major rotation will be determined with the year-long supervisor at beginning of training year. Each intern is required to do a major rotation in each of the following areas:

Developmental Rotation: Fred Biasini, Ph.D., Kristy Domnanovich, Ph.D., John Houser, Ph.D. 

  • Child Development Clinic (CDC)
  • Multiple Disabilities Clinic (MDC)
  • Infant/Toddler Clinic (ITC)
  • Newborn Follow-up Clinic (NBFU)

School-age Rotation: Kristy Domnanovich, Ph.D. & John Houser, Ph.D.

  • Behavioral Assessment Clinic (BAC)
  • Psychoeducational Clinic (PEC)

Pediatric/Neuropsychology Rotation: Heather Austin, Ph.D., Avi Madan-Swain, Ph.D., Dan Marullo, Ph.D., MIchelle Mastin, Ph.D., Matt Thompson, Psy.D.

  • Pediatric Neuropsychology
  • Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
  • Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Pediatric Gastroenterology
  • Sickle Cell
  • Family Clinic
  • Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Clinic
  • Intensive Feeding Program

Minor Rotations:

Each intern is required to complete three minor rotations.  One of the minor rotations must consist of an adult focused experience. Refer to the general UAB - BVAMC Internship page for Adult rotation descriptions. A second minor rotation must be within the Autism Clinic (Dr. O’Kelley) at the Sparks Clinics and may involve only assessment or a combination of assessment and intervention, dependent on the interest of the intern. The third minor rotation can include an additional experience from the above listed major rotation opportunities, Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health (Dr. Stopplebein), Department of Mental Health Adolescent Inpatient (Dr. Wallace), or Project Heroes (Dr. Biasini).

Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Stoppelbein

Glenwood is a comprehensive non-profit organization that provides children experiencing emotional and behavioral problems and their families with comprehensive mental health treatment including outpatient and inpatient services. The clinical placement at Glenwood involves providing psychological services to children/families who are referred for outpatient services at Glenwood. The outpatient service provides assessment, treatment and school consultation/liaison assistance for children ranging from 2 to 18 years of age who present with a range of behavior problems. Diagnoses and behavioral issues include Autism Spectrum Disorder, internalizing disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD), externalizing disorders (e.g., oppositional defiant disorder) and other DSM-V disorders such as attachment disorders. The outpatient service placement provides an excellent opportunity to observe and work with children with a range of mental illnesses including severe psychopathology. Clinical duties include psychosocial, educational and developmental assessment of children and families. Furthermore, opportunities are available for developing treatment plans and providing individual, group, and family therapy using interventions based upon best practice, evidenced based strategies.

Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic O’Kelley

The Civitan-Sparks Clinics' Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic is a diagnostic clinic serving individuals ranging from one to sixteen years of age. This clinic is one of the few of its kind in the state of Alabama; thus children with a suspected Autism Spectrum Disorders are referred from across the state and the surrounding states by pediatricians, neurologists, psychologists, educators, and families. These evaluations are split into two separate experiences based on the age of the child. The Preschool ASD Clinic is conducted along with the Infant/Toddler and Child Development Clinics at Civitan-Sparks and evaluates toddlers and preschoolers with a question of ASD as part of their interdisciplinary developmental evaluations; thus this experience involves interaction with a large interdisciplinary team to aid in differential diagnosis. The School-Aged Autism Clinic team includes clinical and developmental psychologists and a pediatrician and collaborates with providers from the interdisciplinary clinics; many of the children seen in this clinic will have been evaluated through the Child Development or Psychoeducational Clinics prior to their ASD Clinic evaluation The diagnostic assessment battery for both clinics includes the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule- Second Edition (ADOS-2), Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition (CARS2), and the Social Responsiveness Scale- Second Edition (SRS-2), as appropriate. Interns will develop a familiarity with and competency in the administration of the assessment tools used in the diagnosis and rule-out of ASD. In addition, they will develop knowledge of the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder and an understanding of the range of clinical presentations of ASD. Interns will have the opportunity to participate in family feedback sessions as part of both clinics.

There are a number of intervention opportunities available through the ASD Clinic rotation as well. These intervention services include individual and family-based programming that are evidence-based and utilize the principles of behavioral interventions, a developmental perspective, and visual structures and support. All interventions emphasize increasing independence, communication, social interaction, and community participation. Group-based intervention opportunities are often available as well, including therapist and/or social coaching positions in the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) with teens and young adults with ASD/DD. School consultation and/or community-based presentations related to ASD may also be available. Interested interns are invited to participate in these intervention opportunities as a co-therapist with their supervisor or individually, depending on their level of comfort and experience.

Behavioral Assessment Clinic (BAC) Domnanovich

This Clinic serves children and adolescents aged 5 to 18 usually referred by their primary physician for evaluation of behavioral and academic problems. Before clients are seen, comprehensive behavioral assessment data and medical and school records are obtained and reviewed. The Behavioral Assessment Clinic is staffed by Psychology, with consultation from other disciplines as needed. The psychological evaluation consists of a semi-structured parent interview, cognitive and academic screening, behavior observation and ratings, and clinical assessment of impulsivity, inattention, and over activity. Parents and children are interviewed, and social emotional functioning is assessed. Interns will work directly with their supervisor in administering, scoring, and interpreting assessment measures and supervision will be provided on an on-going basis (before, during, and after each assessment). Trainees will also be responsible for producing reports that include background information, assessment results, clinical interview, and recommendations about treatment planning and future directions. They are encouraged to participate in parent feedback sessions to explain assessment results, provide information about the diagnosis, and offer recommendations. Individual therapy clients are often picked up through this clinic

Interdisciplinary Clinics: Child Development Clinic (CDC)/ Multiple Disabilities Clinic (MDC)/ Infant and Toddler Clinic (ITC) Biasini, Domnanovich, & Houser

The Child Development, Multiple Disabilities, and Infant and Toddler Clinics are comprised of an interdisciplinary team that includes the disciplines of Psychology, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, Audiology, Vision, Pediatrics, and Nutrition.

Children evaluated through the Child Development Clinic typically range in age from three to ten years old. The Multiple Disabilities Clinic provides assessments to individuals with multiple impairments who typically range in age from approximately four years to eighteen years old. Children evaluated through the Infant and Toddler Clinic range in age from birth to three years old. Referrals come from pediatricians, neurologists, geneticists, mental health professionals, service providers, teachers, and caregivers. The children evaluated through the clinics come from all over the state of Alabama and from surrounding states.

Psychological assessments provided through the clinics include measures of developmental or intellectual functioning (current editions of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Differential Ability Scales, Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, and Leiter International Performance Scale), adaptive functioning (current editions of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, AGS Self-Help/Social Profile Questionnaire), behavior (Child Behavior Checklist, BASC, Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, caregiver interview, in-clinic observation), and psychosocial functioning (parent and child interviews, symptom checklists). Interns will work directly with their supervisor in administering, scoring, and interpreting assessment measures and supervision will be provided on an on-going basis (before, during, and after each assessment). Interns will participate in team staff meetings and develop recommendations for home and school functioning as a collaborative effort with their supervisor and with clinicians from other disciplines. Trainees will also be responsible for producing reports that include background information, assessment results, clinical interview, and recommendations about treatment planning and future directions. They are encouraged to participate in parent feedback sessions to explain assessment results, provide information about the diagnosis, and offer recommendations. Children evaluated through these clinics can be picked up for short or long-term individual or family-based therapy.

Department of Mental Health Adolescent Inpatient Wallace

The DMH adolescent unit is a ten bed co-ed unit for adolescents aged 12 to 18. The unit's mission is to improve the lives of adolescents with the highest acuity of mental illness by providing exceptional, innovative, and compassionate care to them and their families. The DMH team consists of a physician, psychologist, counselor, teacher, nurses, occupational therapist, dance therapist, and music artist. Patients are offered a variety of therapeutic and leisure activities. Training opportunities for interns include, but are not limited to: individual and group therapy, assessment, supervision of graduate students, training in collaborative and proactive solutions, didactics for treatment team staff, research, and program development.

Family Clinic (Pediatric HIV Clinic) Marullo

Interns have the opportunity to function as a member of a multidisciplinary team in the long-term treatment of children and adolescents with HIV infection. Interns will be exposed to numerous issues including the ethics of disclosure of HIV status, the effects of anger, guilt and grief in families on utilization of medical services, and evaluation of long-term neurocognitive effects of chronic HIV infection. Opportunities for brief time-limited psychotherapy and parent training are available. 

Intensive Feeding Program – Children’s of Alabama Mastin

The Intensive Feeding Program is a comprehensive, trans-disciplinary program consisting of psychology, medicine, nutrition, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and medical social work. This rotation is for third and fourth year interns with advancing clinical skill. Interns will receive the most out of this rotation when it is a 6 months or year-long placement. The Intensive Feeding Program works with children with intractable feeding disorders that often have complex medical challenges. Children range in age from 1 year of age to 18 years of age, with the majority between 2 and 8 years of age. Children have challenges with complete food refusal, G-tube dependence, utensil dependence, dependence on supplements, or food restriction including the absence of one or more food groups or textures. Interns may have the ability to participate in our multidisciplinary evaluation clinic which is on Wednesdays and with patients in our day treatment program. Day Treatment patients are admitted for 5 days a week, 4 therapeutic feedings per day, for 6-8 weeks. Experiences include development and implementation of behavioral intervention plans, co-treating with occupational and speech therapists, participation in individual psychotherapy with patients and their families, and team sessions. Exposure and training in data analysis and coding is also available.

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Clinic Austin 

LEAH Clinic occurs on the 2nd and 4th Thursday morning from 8:30AM to 12PM during the academic year (August until May). Interns have the opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary training clinic where adolescents with multiple needs are seen by trainees in the core disciplines of medicine, psychology, nursing, nutrition and social work. Trainees and faculty supervisors work jointly to improve the health and well-being of adolescent patients and work with them and their caregivers to help them achieve optimal overall functioning. Interns will be exposed to an adolescent population with issues which place them at high risk (e.g. medical adherence, substance use, academic failure, various psychosocial needs). Opportunities will be available for interns to shadow a LEAH postdoctoral fellow in psychology, conduct initial clinical interviews, assist with managing resources, provide brief therapy, and participate in available educational experiences related to this population.

Neuropsychology Clinic Thompson and Marullo

Through the Children's Behavioral Health Department at Children's of Alabama interns have the opportunity to gain experience conducting neuropsychological evaluations with a variety of populations including children with epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, genetic conditions, and other neurological disorders. Interns would work with a supervising neuropsychologist and participate in the clinical interview, test administration, scoring, interpretation, and report writing. Interns will receive training to administer tests with which they might not be familiar. Interns also would have the opportunity to prepare reports pertaining to patients they evaluate. Other opportunities include attendance at a multidisciplinary epilepsy surgery team meeting, inpatient neurorehabilitation, and inpatient consultation.

Newborn Follow-Up Clinic Domnanovich

The Newborn Follow-Up Clinic is a multi-disciplinary team clinic that follows children born extremely low birth weight (less than 2.2 pounds) from birth to three years of age.  The intern responsibilities are assessment based during this clinic and include administration of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 2nd and 3rd Editions and the Differential Ability Scales, 2nd Edition.  Trainees will administer assessment measures, complete a brief (one page) summary, and provide feedback and recommendations to caregivers. Interns participate in the Newborn Follow-Up Clinic during the same rotation as the Child Development, Infant and Toddler, and Multiple Disabilities Clinics.

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Madan-Swain

Through the Hope and Cope psychosocial program at the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders interns will have opportunities to gain experience conducting neuropsychological evaluations children diagnosed with cancer and other blood disorders in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Depending on training goals interns will complete both baseline and more detailed neuropsychological evaluations focusing on the specific learning needs experienced by pediatric cancer survivors. Interns also are part of the Hope and Cope psychosocial interdisciplinary team and complete consults, brief inpatient therapy, as well as outpatient therapy. Interns learn to design and implement evidence based treatment programs for: individual and familial coping/adjustment secondary to illness; depression and anxiety; pain management (e.g., procedural distress), medication noncompliance, school and community reentry, anticipatory grief, and bereavement issues

Pediatric Solid Organ Transplant Marullo and Austin

Interns complete both pre-and 1-year post transplant psychological and neuropsychological evaluations for all patients. Both the child and family are followed inpatient during the course of their hospitalization and after discharge. When necessary the intern designs and implements short-term behavioral interventions to address issues related to pain management, mood management, and adjustment and coping secondary to the medical diagnosis.

Project Heroes Biasini

Is a multidisciplinary diagnostic and consultation clinic serving children and adolescents receiving services in the Department of Human Resources. The purpose of this clinic is to assess urgent cases in which a child or adolescent is in danger of disrupting placement due to severe emotional or behavioral disorders. The clinic population consists of children and adolescents exposed to physical and/or sexual abuse, and/or neglect. Opportunities within the clinic for the intern are to provide comprehensive psychological and neuropsychological assessment, consultation to DHR and the schools, and to present on psychological issues at DHR trainings.

Psychoeducational Clinic (PEC) Domnanovich & Houser

This clinic provides interdisciplinary evaluation of school-age children who are experiencing academic problems and are suspected of having a specific learning disability (e.g., reading, written expression) or a processing deficit (e.g., phonological processing). Evaluation of cognitive functioning, academic skills, and other specific skills are conducted in a format compatible with school-based evaluations. In addition to the measures of cognitive, adaptive, and social-behavioral functioning included in Child Development Clinic, this clinic typically includes measures of academic functioning (e.g., current editions of the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement, Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement).  PEC is an interdisciplinary clinic whose team consists of Psychology, Speech/Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Audiology, and other disciplines as necessary. There is a strong focus on educating parents regarding their child's strengths and weaknesses, legal/procedural aspects of special education and Section 504, how to advocate for their children with the school system, and what to look for in an effective Individualized Education Program (IEP). Reports from this clinic include comprehensive recommendations to schools. School visits for IEP development and follow-up services may be provided.

Psychology Clinic All Faculty

The Psychology Clinic provides outpatient psychological interventions to children, adolescents, and their families.  Treatment approaches are evidence-based, primarily behavioral and cognitive-behavioral, but may also include interpersonal and systems approaches. Referrals come from many sources, including our clinics and the pediatric practice housed at Civitan-Sparks Clinics. Live supervision and review of audio/videotaped sessions is encouraged. Most supervision is individual and conducted weekly. Child specialty interns are expected to maintain an active therapy caseload of approximately five patients throughout the training year. This should include at least two patients or intervention activities (e.g., social skills group) with children at the Civitan-Sparks Clinics and may include child and/or adult patients supervised by other Internship faculty.

Contact Information
Internship Director
A. Hal Thurstin, Ph.D.

Internship Program Coordinator
Tina Young
UAB - BVAMC Clinical Psychology Internship Consortium
Physical Address:  VH L107, 1670 University Blvd.
Mailing Address:  VH 802, 1720 2nd Ave. South
Birmingham, AL  35294-0019
Ph:  205-934-3130
Fax:  205-934-4659

Sparks Clinics’ Contact Person
Sarah O’Kelley, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist; UAB LEND Training Director
Civitan International Research Center, Sparks Clinics
Ph: 205-975-5781
Fax: 205-975-2380

The UAB - BVAMC Clinical Psychology Internship Consortium is a broad-based training program administratively housed in the UAB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology – Psychology Section. The program is co-sponsored by the Psychology Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bryce Hospital, The Civitan International Research Center, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the School of Medicine.

Questions related to the program's accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation 

The UAB - BVAMC Clinical Psychology Internship Consortium belongs to the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC; http://www.appic.org/). The program endorses and adheres to all policy set forth by the APPIC.