Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Autistic students get support in EMU program

Saylor arrives at his class at Eastern Michigan University, slips into a chair and waits for the professor to arrive.
Callie Boik plops down next to Saylor and starts taking notes for him. She's doing this because it's Saylor's turn to type up a summary of the class activities and post it for his classmates — within 24 hours.

Although Saylor gets A's in his classes, creates comic strips for EMU's student newspaper and recently published an e-book, he needs some support since he struggles with issues related to autism.

But a unique program at EMU is helping Saylor proceed in his classes so he can graduate, get a degree and land a job.
Although many young people on the autism spectrum can handle the academics of college, some need support navigating the social, time management and organizational skills required to pass courses.

EMU's individualized program is unlike any other in Michigan and among a handful nationally that help prepare autistic students for the future, professionally and personally.

"I didn't want to end up in a career that involved saying, 'Would you like fries with that?'" said Saylor, 21, of Allen Park.
Autism is a developmental disorder of the brain leading to social, communication and behavioral challenges. The number of cases has been growing rapidly — with 78 percent more children affected since 2002, or 1 in 88, according to federal data.

Read more of The Detroit News article HERE.
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