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Kids with Autism Learn To Survive, And Thrive, In College

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In many ways, Mark Heim is a typical senior at Colorado State University. He has the kind of smart humor you'd expect from someone who excels in computer science, engineering and math; his T-shirt reads, "Department of Redundancy Department."

But as a student living with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, the everyday social interactions of college life can be awkward. Heim is part of a new influx of kids with autism who are heading off to college, creating a new demand for college services to help students with autism fit in, graduate and find jobs.

Colorado State is one of a handful of schools that have adopted programs to help ease autistic students' [sic] transitions in and out of college. For Heim, that means meeting with his peer mentor, Jayne Mohar, to practice the very social interactions that can be so challenging for someone with autism — things like working in groups.

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Tags: Aspergers Syndrome News of the Week Autism Newsletter 15 April 2011