Photo courtesy of: Shepherd University

Shepherd University provides program for students with Autism

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va.- A study done in 1999-2000 by The West Virginia Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Program states that 21 of every 10,000 children between the ages of 3-21 have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As the children that have been identified in this study enter their college years, the need for academic assistance in the university setting arises.

Shepherd University has recognized this need and partnered with the Autism Training Center at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. to create The College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (CPSASD). Drs. Rebecca Hansen, Director of Campus-Based Services, Suzanne Houston, Student Support Specialist, and Jackie Clark, Coordinator for CPSASD, are heading The College Program. Although the Disability Support Services (DSS) on the Shepherd University Campus is very excited about the CPSASD, the program is separate from the DSS, giving each program the ability to provide plenty of support for all students in need on campus. Current students of Shepherd University apply to the program and once accepted are able to benefit from assistance in social and academic categories. According to the CPSASD website, the program creates an individualized plan for each student, meeting with them and their family in order to best serve each individual student.

The fee to participate in the CPSASD is $4,500 every semester, with the summer semester being $1,500. Students can also choose to participate in “Discovery” and “Health and Wellness” groups that provide social skill development and each is $500 per semester. Students that are interested in the CPSASD can apply on the Shepherd University website.

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