Mosaic is a multifaceted and comprehensive program developed to support the holistic needs of degree-seeking UTC students on the Autism Spectrum. This program has been in existence since 2008 and was developed out of the request and expressed needs of students with Autism. Our drive to meet the unique needs of students with Autism has made Mosaic one of the most comprehensive programs in the country.
In its formative years Mosaic sought out the consultation of Dr. Jane Thierfeld Brown, an experienced leader in the field of Autism support in higher education. Her advice led to the development of the credit-bearing curriculum which serves as a foundation for our program. In those beginning stages, administrators also researched and visited other notable Autism programs providing comprehensive support to students with Autism in an attempt to develop Best Practices. Most importantly, Mosaic sought out the perspectives of students themselves. To this day student input is what drives program development.
Neurodiversity is the wide range of diverse variations in the way human brains function. Mosaic considers itself as a part of the Neurodiversity Movement which asserts that neurodiversity is a natural and valuable form of human diversity. The idea that there is one normal or healthy type of brain or mind, or one right style of neurocognitive functioning is unrealistic and no more valid than the idea that there is one “normal” or “right” ethnicity, gender, or culture.
Mosaic believes that differences in the way our students think and process should be celebrated. Mosaic works to help students recognize their many strengths and manage areas of struggle.
Each individual with ASD is unique in the way that they process the world around them. You may have heard the terms “higher functioning” or “lower functioning” to describe those with ASD. It is much more accurate to think of ASD as a color wheel spectrum of impact. Impacts, or the way in which those with ASD are effected, are represented across various areas. There are also varying degrees of impact within those areas and they can change daily or even hourly.