Pasadena, TX

San Jacinto College supports students on autism spectrum through new neurodiversity programs

Marisol Gallagher

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PASADENA, TX - San Jacinto presents a new neurodiversity program this fall. It is a support services program College-wide to give individual and group support to students on the autism spectrum along with their academic learning experience.

Students are allowed to join the group or be referred by their parents, faculty member, or other staff members.

As a part of student support services, this program is for all San Jac students on any campus who is diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Students can meet the neurodiversity coordinator in person and practice skills in group settings with other peers on the spectrum.

Support that is given will be personalized based on each student's needs. While there are some students who have great academic skills with only minimal support, other students may benefit from more guidance.

The Dean of student support services, Tanesha Antoine, has contributed to putting the program's groundwork. She says the heart is finding out students’ academic, social, and career goals and supporting them to reach those goals.

“If the students' goal is to become more involved, how can we help them become more involved?” Antoine asked, then answered that maybe we can go with them to an event. It may not be just academic support.

Furthermore, Neurodiversity support will also spread to the rest of the College community.

As stated by Antoine, one of their goals is trying to educate not just the student but the faculty and staff on how they can work with students on the spectrum.

“We’re seeking to actively promote a campus culture of understanding of students with neurological differences through collaboration, training, and consultation.” she elaborated.

Additionally, participating students will learn to improve their self-knowledge and in some of these skillsets:
- Executive functioning (task initiation, organization, and planning)
- Social interaction/connection
- Self-advocacy (the ability to know when and whom to ask for help)
- Academic planning
- Career preparation, including career exploration and experiential learning

Find more information about the program by email at tanesha.antoine@sjcd.edu

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