University Program Helps Students With Autism Succeed
April 2, 2004
HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA--Thursday's Monroe (Michigan) Evening News feature a story about the Autism Training Center at West Virginia's Marshall University.
Many people with autism choose not to attempt college, or drop out because of difficulty with time management, note-taking, tests and classes that are required but are not in their area of interest.
Marshall's Autism Training Center offers tutoring, counseling, a quiet space to take exams, along with help navigating the bureaucracy and social world of college.
"I probably wouldn't go to college at a place that didn't have a place like this," said freshman student Andrew Reinhardt.
The program at Marshall is considered the only one in the nation tailored specifically for university students that have autism. The program, which currently serves three students, may eventually accommodate 10.
Administrators hope the program will become a model for other universities, allowing students with autism to attend the university of their choice with the supports they need. They emphasize that this is not special education, but support to help university students be successful.
"I think they would do much better, there would be a much higher rate of success if this type of program were available," said Stephen Shore, author of "Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome."
Shore, who has been diagnosed with "atypical development with strong autistic tendencies", is finishing his doctoral degree in special education at Boston University.
"For the autistic, a pathway to college" (Monroe Evening News)
West Virginia Autism Training Center (Marshall University College of Education and Human Services)