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University ASD Support Program: Marshall University

by Courtney Frederick, ASK Technical Writing Intern

Parents have been asking about their options for their children’s future after high school, so we have dedicated this summer to finding out about different programs for young adults with ASD. Each week, we will post information on a new college or vocational program. We know you all have been waiting for this information, and we are excited to share it with you!

The College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Marshall University in West Virginia began in 2002 with only one student. He wanted to attend college but needed extra support since he has ASD. His parents knew The Autism Training Center, a legislative funded agency that serves individuals of all ages with ASD throughout the entire state of West Virginia, is based on the Marshall University’s campus. One of the student’s parents contacted Marshall and explained their situation and asked how the family and Marshall could work together to create the support system the student needed. From this student’s trial run, more than 50 students are now a part of CPSASD.

CPSASD provides support to students as they carry out an otherwise typical college lifestyle. The student, their family, and the university program staff work together to create a unique plan suited to the student’s needs for their college career. Although the support plans vary from student to student, they can be broken into three categories: academic, social, and independent living.

Academic Support may include:

  • Course advising, based on the learning strengths, abilities and interests of each student
  • Students, program staff and team members working together to determine reasonable accommodations beneficial to each student
  • Strategies designed to teach students organizational skills
  • Providing information to professors regarding the most effective manner for teaching specific students
  • Consistent, periodic (often weekly) interaction with professors

Social Supports are:

  • Developed to meet individual needs and interests
  • Focused on the interest of the student, and provides assistance for student involvement in campus organizations, clubs and extra-curricular activities 

Independent Living Support may include:

  • Teaching effective adaptive living skills
  • Supporting students as they navigate through the day-to-day needs of a college lifestyle
  • Assisting students as they navigate residence life;
  • Assistance and encouragement regarding an active involvement in community (both on campus and off campus communities), and the development of support strategies that will assist the student in being more independent in those environments.

For more information, please visit http://www.marshall.edu/collegeprogram/.

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