Eastern's autism initiatives include new educational programs, expanded services at the ACC and community awareness

by Debra Johnson | Published May 22, 2013

Autism has been a part of the curriculum in the College of Education (COE) since 2006, but the addition of new courses, degrees and services have positioned the COE as an educational leader in one of the faster growing healthcare specialties in the country.

There have been several exciting events and developments within the department and also at the Autism Collaborative Center (ACC) which are highlighted below:

Eastern on Autism: A community working towards awareness, help, education

The COE and its department of special education, along with the ACC were featured in the Spring 2013 edition of the Eastern magazine. The article covered many of the new developments within the department and its program including the expansion of its autism education and services both on and off campus. The University is also developing new undergraduate courses so that students majoring in special education can add an endorsement in autism. The ACC was granted a three-year award of $500,000 from the Michigan Department of Community Health and will expand its staff and technology capabilities in order to link people all around Michigan affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder with a network of resources. And, Eastern now has a voice in the national autism arena as Sally Burton-Hoyle, an associate professor in the department of special education was appointed to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee last year. The Committee updates an annual report with the latest scientific research, opportunities and challenges for meeting the needs of people with autism and their families.

New Telehealth live stream video debuted at EMU's Autism Collaborative Center

A new Telehealth program that uses a live video stream debuted during an event held on May 10, 2013 at the ACC. The video stream will link the Center's health care professionals with people in need of help for their child or young adult with autism.

'Light It Up Blue' Tuesday spotlights autism awareness

The annual Light It Up Blue event was held on Tuesday, April 2 on EMU's campus as faculty, staff and the community celebrated the worldwide campaign to help raise awareness about autism. Autism Speaks started the Light It Up Blue tradition in 2010 to highlight the growing public health concern of autism.

Proceeds from charity event helps purchase new equipment for ACC

Eastern's Autism Collaborative Center received a check in the amount of $10,471.45 from a charity hockey event held last September 29. The proceeds helped purchase new sensory integration therapy tools, such as a platform swing, tumbling mats, and a crash pit, are designed to help children and adults with autism develop motor planning, motor skills and improve social interaction.