Siu Carbondale Autism Research and Treatment Center
New SIU Program Will Offer Services for Autistic People
A new program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale intends to assist young individuals with autism adopt necessary skills as they become adults.
Club 57, belonging to Autism Research and Treatment Center, shall start hosting sessions in January 22. The program is free and presently accepting applications.
Professor of behavioral analysis and therapy at SIU, Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, stated that the program is particularly aimed at high functioning teenagers and adults with autism, who habitually suffer from major bouts of anxiety, depression, and frequently have problems entering the workforce. She added that social isolation among autistic adults is quite common.
She went on to say: “These are often people who are highly capable, highly intelligent, able to be productive members of the workforce, but due to probably a number of barriers they’re not.”
Club 57 will rely on activity-type of behavioral therapy. Children will be able to play flashlight tag, board games, work on unique projects, and enjoy occasional field trips.
Rehfeldt and her staff of assistants will create opportunities during the once or twice weekly sessions to work in therapeutic factors of behavioral treatment in order to encourage flexible thinking.
She said that psychological flexibility is the ability to live in the current moment instead of being caught up in obsessive or negative thought patterns.