Connecting around autism

Connecting around autism

Input, education, outreach: These are priorities set by the newly formed Autism Consortium. A primary goal is to understand the needs of students with autism and how the university community can help.

The Autism Consortium at Marquette is proof that innovation can rise out of perceived failure. The consortium, headed by Dr. Amy Van Hecke, associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, started as a project submitted to the Strategic Innovation Fund. It wasn’t selected for funding. “Even though we weren’t funded, the project forced us to get organized,” Van Hecke says. “It also helped us identify people from groups across campus and the community — from faculty and staff to students and alumni — who want to play a role in supporting students with autism.”

Alumni bring a particular perspective to the group, according to Van Hecke. “We need input from the entire community, and alumni have an incredible understanding of what it means to live the Marquette mission,” she says. “No matter their level of participation, whether they attend meetings or simply want to join the conversation, we need to hear their voices.” — JL

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