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Autistic Students at Loras Get a Different Kind of Help

Next fall, Loras College students who have autism can get support designed specifically for them. The Lynch Learning Center on campus in Dubuque helps students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder.

As Michelle O'Neill reports, the college has learned those services don't meet the needs of autistic students.

Lynch Center Director, Lynn Gallagher, and her staff are launching the Connections Academy to help ten autistic students succeed at Loras College in Dubuque.

During the first year of the four-year program, the students will focus on learning social skills and getting used to living on campus. The second year, they'll work on selecting majors and careers. Then the last two years they'll concentrate on how to get and keep a job.

Gallagher says some autistic students don't reveal their disorder to the college, but she estimates 7 to 15 are enrolled at Loras. Over the summer, students enrolled in the Connections Academy can spend a week on campus. And they'll get to move in two days earlier than other freshmen.

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