By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADLEPHIA (CBS) -- Drexel University students with autism will soon benefit from a newly funded program.
Paul Shattuck, associate director at the AJ Drexel Autism Institute and director of the Life Course Outcomes Programs says a brand new $3.5 million donation was given to his department.
"That's going to help us launch some new programs that would be directly helping transition age youth, meaning young people who are in their late teens and early 20's who are on the autism spectrum, and we'd be creating a variety of programs that help people find jobs and achieve greater independence."
He says as a society we spend about $12 billion on special education services for young people with autism, and yet when people leave high school those much needed services tend to end.
"So there's really low return on investment if you will from a society standpoint. We're trying to change those odds and create an innovation incubator that experiments with new ways of helping young people achieve success after high school."
Shattuck says he's hopeful the first program established using this gift will be put into practice by the Fall.
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