Autism Awareness Month at EKU
April is Autism Awareness month. Autism impacts 1 in 68 individuals according to the Autism Speaks website. During this month we “light it up blue” in support of these unique individuals.
Here at EKU, we have several community initiatives where OT students and faculty participate actively. Each spring, one section of OTS 831 engages with the psychology students to lead a social skills group for elementary students with ASD and other related disorders. The program teaches children social interaction skills and strategies to communicate effectively with their peers. Students select themes and plan activities for the group each week for six weeks.
A new initiative in collaboration with Housing and the Center for Accessibility is the Colonels Mentoring Colonels program. This program provides support to students with and without disabilities to help them succeed in their higher education. Mentees are paired up with an Occupational Therapy graduate student and meet weekly for one-on-one sessions for eight weeks.
Lastly, OT students that will be enrolled in OTS 863 during summer 2017 will be assisting the Center for Accessibility in their Open Door Camp, reaching out to students with ASD to learn about potential college experiences. OT students will be living in the dorms with these students and preparing them for their college life.
The autism certificate program is an optional, interdisciplinary effort on behalf of the Departments of Psychology, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, Special Education and Communication Disorders. Students engaged in the certificate program engage in many of the above activities.
EKU’s Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy is reaching out to our community, students and faculty to contribute to our roles as engaged civic members.
Published on April 10, 2017