This presentation will discuss some of the strategies and supports developed to support undergraduate and graduate students with ASD navigate academia at Oakland University (OU). A 2016 Survey conducted at OU revealed that most students with ASD were not registered with disability services nor did they need the traditional services provided to students with disabilities. Most were honor students and had excellent GPAs, but often lacked the soft skills to make good team members on group projects. Both Faculty and participants identified that they failed to make friends in their classes and had difficulty bonding with classmates or socializing. As a response to the data gathered Genius-to-Genius, an innovative program was developed at Oakland University. It is helping students build relationships, enhance their socialization skills and transition to college life by pairing them with peer consultants who are trained to help them through the process. By targeting academic and life skills our program has been successful at addressing many of the social issues as well as retention and attrition issues experienced with the ASD college population.
About the Speaker
Chaturi Edrisinha is a board-certified behavior analyst. She received her Ph.D. in autism and developmental disabilities and her M.Ed. in early childhood special education from The University of Texas at Austin. An overarching agenda in Dr. Edrisinha’s research is to develop instructional and support strategies in order to foster independence and inclusion for persons with autism spectrum disorders. She has been successful in obtaining multiple research grants totaling more than $100,000. She published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, and book chapters in many prestigious journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Research in Developmental Disabilities, and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities and presented at numerous national and international conferences.