New program for autistic students

The university’s Student Counseling Services will offer a new program for autistic students. The program is set to teach students social skills, along with helping them transition into college. Heidi Khatibi and Alton Wampler are both counselors at Virginia Wesleyan University and they have come together to start this program.

Some of the basics that were covered were what the program is about, what they are hoping for by implementing the new program, and overall details about the program, and its future results. Wampler, who is in charge of the program stated, “The program is set to be a support ignition that will be set on the autism spectrum. The program will help social skills, give counseling to students, as well help the students transition into the college lifestyle. We want the program to serve as an advocate here on campus.”

Wampler got the idea for the new program by looking into similar programs that other schools had. “We have researched different colleges and universities that have started programs like this. We also have been looking and trying to find new ways to meet students’ needs and expectations. With researching other colleges and universities programs, we have been able to spot what has worked, what works, and what does not work at all.”

The ultimate goal that counseling services has is for students to feel comfortable. Wampler and Khatibi hope to achieve their goal of making students feel like Virginia Wesleyan is their home with this new program.

To students who may be interested in the project, Wampler stated, “Anyone can acquire information about the program; the program is currently in the pilot stage. We do not have a set agenda just yet.” Both Wampler and Khatibi stated, “We encourage students to come in and give their thoughts, so that we can know what will work best for them.”

Caimaya Ashton