Special presentation aims to break down autism barriers

Published 9:15 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Ohio University Southern invites the community to a presentation on autism at 10 a.m. Friday. The event will be held in the Bowman Auditorium.

Marc Ellison, associate director of training for the West Virginia Autism Training Center (WV ATC), will present “Supporting College Students with Autism,” which is the theme of the event.

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“His (Ellison’s) message will center around the myths of Autism,” Adam Fry, interim coordinator, disability and career services at Ohio University Southern, said.

Ellison’s presentation will attempt to tear down the barriers that often prevent people with autism from experiencing equality and success at the college level, by raising awareness and educating individuals on the dynamics of the autism spectrum.

“The goal is to address our own shortcomings in how we, as a diverse population, interact and support one another,” Fry said.

Individuals have pre-conceived notions that autism means disability. The term that is quickly catching on is “differently able,” because individuals with autism are able to live normal lives, they just lead them a little differently, Fry said.

“There are a lot of misinformation and myths about autism,” Fry said. “Communication in general is always a barrier. The autism spectrum presents a unique set of challenges but ultimately it is about breaking down barriers and tapping into a shared potential.”

The West Virginia ATC provides education, training and treatment programs for accommodating autism, pervasive development disorder and Asperger’s disorder.

This event is open to the public at no cost. For additional information, contact Adam Fry at 740-533-4596 or frya@ohio.edu