Building Better Minds


Help available for students on the Autism Spectrum

Posted at 10:53 AM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 10:28:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- When students graduate from high school, they have options whether it be college, a trade school, joining the workforce, or the military. But what about young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

The Richmond-based child and family services non-profit UMFS is there to help those students, parents, and other caregivers.

"As we know college is completely different than high school,” UMFS Courage to Succeed Coordinator Kelly Magee said. “You don't have somebody in the classroom with you all the time telling you, 'Okay, let's do your homework today. You have a test next class.'"

The organization offers academic and social support.

The non-profit’s Courage to Succeed program just received the CA Human Services Partnership of the Year Award.

It serves individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental or neurological challenges.

One program it provides is a mock job fair.

"When we do our groups, we focus on social skills, on healthy relationships, on mindfulness, those different issues that can help them stay settled and keep their emotions in check so that when they are faced with different situations, they can work through it," therapist Craig Simmons said.

The program aims to build confidence. It arms students with skills to help them earn a college degree, work in their chosen field, and live a productive, independent, and happy life.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs every Wednesday at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on CBS 6 and is sponsored by Virginia Family Dentistry.

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