Marshall becomes ally for Autism Awareness

The Marshall community will have the opportunity to attend Autism Spectrum Diversity Training at two different times Tuesday in the Memorial Student Center.

The trainings, sponsored by the West Virginia Autism Training Center, Student Affairs and the Student Government Association, will be held at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The beginning of April marked the beginning of Autism Awareness Month. This event will provide training to individuals who want to provide a comforting environment to those living with autism spectrum disorder.

“Students can expect the training to be very educational and interactive,” SGA President Matt Jarvis said.

The training will last an hour and a half and be led by members of the West Virginia Autism Training Center as part of their Allies Supporting Autism Spectrum Diversity project.

“I think students can benefit from this training because it’s not Marshall specific, but rather focuses on developing skills that make better people in general,” Jarvis said. “Learning skills to help work with these disabilities will not only promote more inclusivity on our own campus, but give students real world experience after they graduate.”

Madison Parker works in the Office of Disabilities on the Marshall campus and is a member of the Tristate Autism Society. In February, she traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for the services those with autism receive.

“I have the privilege to not only work at the Office of Disabilities on campus, but also to work one-on-one with a boy who has autism,” Parker said. “I also work outside of campus with a boy who has autism, and we are currently working on his transition out of public school.”

Parker talked about the importance of programs like this for the Marshall community and its students.
“I always say that autism impacts everyone, at different times and in different ways,” Parker said. “Even if the students are not passionate about autism, it is always useful to understand what autism is and how you can help an individual with autism.”

“This is an important event on our campus because it offers a training that not only betters us as students, but just better people,” Jarvis said.

These training programs will take place in BE5 and are open to all of the Marshall community.

Alexis Leach can be contacted at [email protected].