Autism awareness: College programs for students on the spectrum

  • Autism awareness: College programs for students on the spectrum

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    University of Connecticut Strategic Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (SEAD)

    uconn, university of connecticut, campus

    UCONN's SEAD program aims to help students with autism have a smooth transition into college and gain the skills and self-determination needed to advocate for themselves on campus and later on in the world of work.

    Students in the program meet with a graduate assistant weekly to provide support. Students who need a "less-intense" program can still participate in the program at a reduced level.

    "The SEAD program give students the support they need to transition to a new environment where the college culture may be foreign," Brown, who works for the university and helped develop this program, told CBS News. "The structure, support and especially the Freshman Seminar, gives students connections to the University and to key staff who assist in their success in college. In accomplishing this goal, students will also learn more about themselves, their disability, and how to be autonomous individuals."

    The skills students pick up can be practiced on campus and hopefully transferred to the employment world, Brown says.

    William Z. Roy, a 24-year-old human development and family studies major, told CBS News in an email, "My favorite aspect of SEAD would have to be the personalized attention I receive." He says the program is customized to his needs and and his aides and advisers work on short and long-term goals for his social, academic and life skills.

    "The high school and community colleges I attended were more rigid with what they could accommodate and my peer groups were more close-minded," Roy said.

    To learn more about the program, visit SEAD's website.