By Kimberly Wolford, Student Reporter
The Department of Education sponsored an autism awareness workshop Thursday at Highland Church of Christ, featuring an expert speaker on the condition of autism.
Dr. Gary B. Mesibov, the director of the division of the Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH), spoke at the workshop. Mesibov is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has written several books about autism. He also has served on editorial boards for autism journals.
TEACCH is “an evidence-based service, training, and research program for individuals of all ages and skill levels with autism spectrum disorders,” according to the organization’s Web site.
In addition to the workshop Thursday, Dennis Cavitt, instructor of education, said the education department is conducting a two-day hands-on workshop by invitation only Friday and Saturday. This hands-on workshop will be in the Education Building.
Autism is “defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a spectrum disorder that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees,” according to the Autism Society of America’s Web site. Autism usually appears within the first three years of a child’s life. Children’s communication and interaction with others is significantly hindered, according to the Web site.
According to recent statistics, one out of every 150 children in America will be diagnosed with autism. The Autism Society of America reports autism is more likely to occur in boys than girls, and no one knows the cause for autism.
For more information on the workshop, contact Dennis Cavitt. For more information about TEACCH or Mesibov, visit the Web site at http://www.teacch.org/.