+ Summer Autism Program at Youngstown State University

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From a story at www.wytv.com, we learn that The Rich Center for Autism is offering a summer program at Youngstown State University.

Monday June 21 was the first day of the program, which is designed specifically for children with autism, giving them the chance to continue work they’ve been doing throughout the school year. 

The students will have the opportunity to maintain skills which are commonly lost over the summer months.

Lindsay Morgart, behavioral analyst for the Rich Center, says “Our kids on the spectrum are at a really great risk to lose skills during the summer time, so without formal programming teachers might  have to begin where they started off last year.”  

The summer program is an extension of the Rich Center’s regular school year program, which has been around for fifteen years.  In this summer session, the classes consist of both students with and without autism.  According to instructors, this give the autism students an excellent opportunity to be in the company of their mainstream peers. 

Morgart feels that in addition to socialization opportunities, these children thus have access to children  who can model appropriate behavior. 

Classes are in session for six and a half hours each day.   Instructors try to keep their schedules the same as during the school year.

“It’s cross-curricular,” says Alaina Rauber, lead instructional specialist at the Rich Center.  “They’re doing all kinds of different activities,…incorporating academics, but also a bunch of other opportunities that are social activities and behavior management.” 

Since the program is on YSU’s campus, many university students are able to be involved with the program.

Morgart says “We have students from the special education department, we have a new graduate program in the psychology department, applied behavior analysis, and we have interns from that program who are able to come over and get hands-on experience as well.”

This program will run through July 30.

source: www.wytv.com on 6/21/10.

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