The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board awarded a grant worth more than $305,000 to Sam Houston State University to fund a program known as the Low Incidence Disabilities and Autism program that launched in spring.
The program is as a part of the university’s College of Education, and its goal is to hold workshops to help give educators who work with students with autism the skills they need.
“We have a large and really effective special education program, so students that are involved in that program will receive training and preparation in working with students with autism,” Dean of the College of Education Stacey Edmonson said.
Edmonson also emphasized how vital it is for educators to connect with the students that are a part of the program.
“A big part of serving those students and knowing how to meet their needs is educating the public and educators and people that are involved and working with them in a variety of contexts, so that they know the right ways to help serve students with disabilities, students with autism and students of all kinds,” Edmonson said.
These future educators will have the opportunity to learn, practice and adapt critical techniques by engaging in different behavioral assessments, as well as other instructional strategies for students with autism
The Low Incidence Disabilities and Autism Program is also beneficial to graduate students who have long-term career goals of educating students with autism. The program continues to recruit future educators, add new strategies and approaches and bring awareness to the university, the community and the state.
According to AutismSpeaks.org, 31% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have an intellectual disability. SHSU students who plan to be educators, as well as current educators, must understand how to give people with ASD every opportunity they can and have a positive influence on their lives.