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St. Norbert’s College Praised for Program Supporting Students With Autism

St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin has received national recognition for its program supporting students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to a report by Wbay.com, St. Norbert is listed by Applied Behavior Analysis Program Guide as one of the best small colleges in the country for students with autism. Through St. Norbert’s ASD Support Program, students with autism are matched with a peer mentor, whom they meet with twice a week for a half-hour discussion on any subject they want. The program also features a monthly social event in which all of the students and their mentors go out to restaurants, movies, or other outings. The program was launched in 2014 by Bruce Robertson, St. Norbert College director of counseling and career, after a couple, Todd and Camille Nicklaus, reached out to him and pledged to financially support the program. The investment in the program was personal for the Nicklaus’s, whose oldest son is on the autism spectrum. Camille Nicklaus, a 1987 graduate of St. Norbert’s, said she understands the anxiety many parents feel about how their children with autism will fare in college. “A lot of it was that, worried that their child would socially maybe not fit in or be active on campus, worries such as, 'Will they have a roommate?' Nicklaus said. “We just thought this would be the perfect environment for students to take that next transitional step between leaving home and then going out on their own." Hannah Baur, a St. Norbert’s student with autism, said the program has had an extremely positive impact on her life. “Even if you do have autism it can also help you to grow as well,” she said, “you don't have to let it bring you down, can let it bring you up instead and make it your strength.” Source: https://www.wbay.com/content/news/Supporting-Student-With-Autism-567848721.html

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