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Awareness for Asperger’s

October 28th, 2010

This year, John Carroll will be hosting its first symposium to raise awareness of Asperger’s Syndrome. It is currently scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9.

With an increasing number of students with Asperger’s in higher education, this will be a very beneficial conference. It is very important to recognize how students with this syndrome react to the college atmosphere with its heightened social and academic pressures.

The office of Services for Students with Disabilities has done a commendable job assembling the symposium. The faculty members who are involved with this project are highly qualified and have extensive experience working with Asperger’s Syndrome in the Cleveland area. Lisa Meeks, of the SSD, and Tracy Masterson, of the psychology department, have contributed a great deal to the development of the conference and have truly put their expertise to work for a good cause.

A number of sessions for faculty, students and people from the Cleveland area will examine the disorder on multiple levels.

Since more students with Asperger’s are coming to Carroll and other institutions of higher learning each year, every teacher should attend this in order to find out how to better approach these students. They are very capable academically, but the symposium will offer more ways to reach them.

It is also important that students attend this so that they can gain a better understanding of what Asperger’s Syndrome is and dispel many of the myths that surround this mild form of autism.

The program they are building in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic, which is meant to provide a more in-depth study of Asperger’s, will be a huge step for those with this condition.

The University offers an internship with the Cleveland Clinic for students who would like to work more with autism. This could lead to future careers for students interested in psychology or working with people with mental disabilities. Students in this path of study should take advantage of this opportunity.

Overall, the responsibility lies largely on the students. It is their job to learn how to appropriately respond to friends with Asperger’s. However, everyone affiliated with student life at Carroll, including teachers, faculty and students should attend the symposium in order to learn more about this increasingly present subject.