PulseStudents on the autism spectrum bond over experiences in new support group

Academic coach Dema Stout hosts group for students to share challenges and successes of college life with autism
Noelle BarreraNovember 29, 20183362 min
https://tz5spe4rrwpn7tzx-zippykid.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Autism-Support-Group-800x640.png

Transitioning to college is a complex experience for most students, but it can be even more so for students on the autism spectrum. Autism is a neurological variation characterized by heightened sensory experiences, difficulty processing language, difficulty understanding social interactions and a preference for routine — all of which can make change complicated. Counseling Services currently sponsors a support group for students who have autism or Asperger’s Syndrome led by Dema Stout, a professional academic coach who often comes to Trinity to coach students diagnosed with autism and ADHD.

While Stout is not officially affiliated with Trinity, many Trinity students go to her for academic support after being referred to her by Student Accessibility Services (SAS), Counseling Services or parents of current and former students. Stout formed a group for students on the spectrum at the beginning of the semester under the guidance of Richard Reams, associate director of Counseling Services. During their biweekly meetings, students discuss a variety of topics related to autism and college life.

“At our last meeting we talked about coping with holidays, interacting with family, safe spaces to go to if you’re feeling overstimulated and dealing with large crowds,” Stout said.

One of Stout’s main goals is for students with autism to form bonds with other students who share their experiences.

“It’s beneficial for students to find people that they can relate to and who will accept them, so they can discuss issues without fear of judgment. A lot of students in the group have become friends outside the group,” Stout said. “It often takes more time and initiation for people on the autism spectrum to make friends, and it can be difficult, especially in college, but I have never coached a student who didn’t want friends.”

Israel Rodriguez, a senior and music education major, spoke about how being a student with autism has influenced his academic career.

“I’ve always found subjects that I was really interested in. Back when I was in grade school, I excelled in math, and of course, look at where I am now. I am going all the way out there with music,” Rodriguez said. “But at the same time, [being autistic] also does come with some negatives. Going back to grade school, while I was excelling in math, I was also [hindered] in reading. Not like, ‘Oh, I don’t know how to read this word,’ but more like the interpretive and context clues kind of stuff.”

While Rodriguez found social situations challenging growing up, the college transition made it easier for him to express himself comfortably and to find friends on campus.

“At least in my case, for the longest time I’ve always wanted to fit in. But as I’ve gotten to college, that kind of stopped [being] a priority for me, and I guess once I stopped making that a priority, I had an easier time [socializing] with people, especially people in my hall, Swashbucklers,” Rodriguez said. “In college, or at least here at Trinity, you’re allowed to be yourself.”

Myeshia Smith, assistant director for SAS, spoke about resources that she and student accessibility specialist Jessica Reyes can provide for autistic students.

“Supports are put in place based on a student’s needs. Each student with autism spectrum disorder presents with different strengths and different areas that they want to improve on,” Smith said. “For some students, we make referrals for academic coaching to help with time management, study skills or organizational skills. We’ve made referrals for Dema’s support group. … Each semester, Jessica or I can review a student’s schedule with them and discuss what accommodations may be needed in each class.”

Smith spoke about a peer mentorship program currently being planned by SAS. Starting next fall, her program would match first-year and sophomore students with junior and senior student mentors with similar disabilities, who could provide support, encouragement and advice about self-advocacy, requesting accommodations and navigating college life.

Smith and Reyes are also working on summer programming on campus to educate disabled students and their families about the transition from high school to college, and the resources Trinity provides to all students.

“[Reyes] and I can present on the accommodations we offer, we’ll give a tour of the supports that are in the TLC, and we can have different speakers come in to talk about academic resources, such as the Writing Center and academic coaching,” Smith said.

Students who are interested in joining the support group, which meets on alternating Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. in Counseling Services, can contact Stout at dema@sbcglobal.net and Smith at msmith14@trinity.edu. For more information about autism, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Spectrum News and Autism Women & Nonbinary Network are among many online resources.

Noelle Barrera

| Class of 2021 | Majors: English and Anthropology |

3 comments

  • Nell

    June 5, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    magnificent publish, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector do not notice this.
    You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge
    readers’ base already!

    Reply

  • https://Www.Bestonetireofms.com/

    June 10, 2019 at 1:56 am

    The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA; IATA:
    MLA), which is situated about 7-12 kilometers south of Manila and southwest of Makati,
    is the main worldwide gateway for travelers to the Philippines.

    Airport Transfers: Visitors are advised to avail of accredited fixed fee or metered taxis at the
    airport’s arrival space. Health necessities: A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers coming in from an infected area.
    Anti-Smoking Law: Section 5 of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9211) prohibits the carrying of any lighted tobacco product in public vehicles, schools, well being centers,
    elevators, cinemas, malls and in places the place hearth hazards are current.
    Shopping within the Philippines: Shopping within the Philippines is truly
    superb and delightful – no matter it’s you are on the lookout for.Major shopping malls like SM Super Malls, Robinsons, Ayala Malls,
    Araneta Malls, Gaisano and others can be found all through the nation. Currency: The foreign money
    within the Philippines is peso or PHP.

    Reply

  • hair extensions

    June 18, 2019 at 6:16 am

    Carefully cut the lace off the edges of the wig.3) Put wig adhesive just below your hairline.
    Ensure there is a small amount on the hairline all around hair extensions your head.4) Tie the wig into a loose
    ponytail. Line the wig to just before the adhesive.
    At the crown of your head, tease the hair very well,
    all the way to the roots. This will create a base
    for your wild hair style. Apply a lot of hairspray as you go,
    to hold everything in place.

    I Tip extensions But Fisher (who voiced Agnes in the first two Despicable
    Me movies) always keeps us hooked into Kayla’s inner life without ever slipping into a kind of precocious maturity of
    polished child actors. And while Burnham roots her story in the
    signifiers of our current moment (late night Instagram k holes, school shooting drills), mostly Eighth Grade captures the universally relatable small
    yet potent dramas of simply being 13, like showing up at a birthday pool party when you’re friends
    with no one, and learning to navigate attention wanted and alarmingly not from older teenagers.
    Adam B.I Tip extensions

    full lace wigs Having done horribly on the local tycoon, i know i
    can ever keep up on that server now so i am thinking of starting over and changing tactics.

    As i compared my stats to the 1 guy, i notice that i have a lot more wraithwing power and more pets than he
    does, but his basic stats are way way higher.
    I reckon this would be due to hidden boosts like mounts, armaments,
    sky wings, ultima weapon etc..full lace wigs

    full lace wigs If a person feels that he or she can not fulfill this obligation then I
    do not feel that person should be a pet owner. Dog’s are somewhat similar to caring
    for a young child in the since that they need attention, they need to be fed, walked, cleaned, and most of what they
    need they can not do properly on their own. So the next time you think
    about taking on the responsibility of any pet ask yourself
    if you are ready, and if you are already a dog owner ask yourself if your dog
    is properly taken care of..full lace wigs

    U Tip Extensions GE was one of the eight major computer companies of the 1960s along with IBM, Burroughs, NCR,
    Control Data Corporation, Honeywell, RCA and UNIVAC.[36] GE had a line of general purpose and special purpose
    computers. Among them were the GE 200, GE 400, and GE 600 series general purpose computers,[36]
    the GE 4010, GE 4020, and GE 4060 real time process control computers, the DATANET 30 and
    Datanet 355 message switching computers (DATANET 30 and 355 were also used as front
    end processors for GE mainframe computers). A Datanet 500 computer
    was designed, but never sold.[37] U Tip Extensions..

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.