MoSAIC is our newest program offered to students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). MoSAIC is a yearlong course in which students develop executive functioning and social skills. Students meet weekly as a class to learn various social strategies and study about the impact that Autism Spectrum Disorders have on them individually. In addition, students meet twice weekly with a Life Coach. The life coach and student partner to develop short term goals for each week. This is also a time for students to work through any issues that arise throughout the week. Finally, students meet weekly with a peer mentor to apply social strategies in a real world setting.
Another component to this program is our monthly social strategy application activities. These can include routing transportation through the bus system, going to a restaurant to practice communication skills when ordering food, local company site visits to examine potential job placements, going to the mall to practice finding what students need and asking questions. Finally, we will be building in a service learning component that both helps students build work skills, and also instills an understanding of the importance of service to others.
The final component of this program is the supervised study sessions that take place in the Disability Resource Center (DRC). Each student will meet with his or her life coach to develop a study plan. Each time he or she comes to study at DRC, the plan will be followed and the life coach will sign off on the progress. Each student will commit to no less than four hours of supervised study time each week.
Students complete the program with an understanding of the individual impact of their disability, gain social strategies that are applicable to the college environment and interactions in the work place, and learn the organizational techniques to develop a success plan.
The second year of this program is underway with the previous group of students returning. The second year of the program will focus on gaining more independence in decision making, recognizing the individual impact of ASD, gaining employment skills, and developing leadership skills.
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