The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE students learn autism information

By Jeremy Moore/ se news editor

SE students received loads of information during Information Day April 19.

Information was provided about the First Choice and Autism Spectrum disorder programs, and their services. First Choice was created for developmentally challenged students who look to grow and learn independent living skills.

With help from Spectrum Services and other partnerships, the autism spectrum disorder program prepares students with autism for the workforce and college.

The programs have partnerships with many agencies throughout the area, like the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Tarrant County.

“With our agency, people can call one number and get information about public health benefits, public services and Medicaid waivers,” center coordinator Beth Noah said. “We really focus on long-term services and supports that help people stay in their homes.”

Arlington Handitran’s customer service specialist Natalie Tutt shared information on her program’s services.

“The Handitran is very helpful for students to be able to get back and forth to these types of programs,” she said. “It can also help them gain some independence.”

Tutt believes events such as this can help people gain awareness of services from the Handitran and other agencies.

“Even though a lot of people see us driving around the city, they really don’t know who we are until we show up to events like this and let them know that we’re here to service them,” she said.

This semester, the programs offered Your Autism Choice, a course that was exclusive to SE Campus. This course focused on helping students with socialization as well as preparing them for college. SE student Abdullah Khraishi was thankful he could take this course.

“It helped me a lot, and it went really well,” he said. “It helped me to get a job, make friends and get a better education.”

SE student Michelle Ben-Shalom benefited from the course. She displayed some of her artwork for sale at Information Day. She appreciates the support she received throughout the semester from SE special projects coordinator Nita Haliburton and other faculty members.

“Now I’ve found new ways to get myself out there more,” she said. “I give all thanks to Ms. Haliburton for inviting me to come to events like this on the campus.”

Haliburton said Information Day was designed to provide people with as much information from different social agencies as possible in a central location.

“A lot of people may not know to go to certain agencies and know what’s available,” she said.

Overall, she was pleased with what the programs accomplished this semester, and she looks for their growth to continue.

“Little by little, it’s turning up and getting better and better,” she said. “The need is out there. The students with autism are not going away, so we want to make sure that they have services available for them.”

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