The Postsecondary Autism Support Services (PASS) Program is designed for the University of Tennessee students enrolled in a degree-seeking program (Undergraduate or Graduate) who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, usually more commonly characterized as High Functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome/Disorder. Some students who exhibit a significant number of symptoms, but may not meet the full criteria, may also benefit.
Some of the primary difficulties we see with students here at UT on the Spectrum, and work to remediate, are 1) severe procrastination, 2) becoming overwhelmed with workload and social situations, and 3) difficulties initiating and understanding social relationships…among others. While these difficulties may sound similar to those of students who are not on the Autism Spectrum, the challenges are much more pronounced and have to be uniquely addressed.
As an example, students on the Spectrum often have a significant challenge understanding the difference between an acquaintance and a friend. While most students have developed an understanding of these differences, many students on the Autism Spectrum struggle mightily with this. This is not a small thing and can lead to real problems, socially, for students on the Spectrum.
We work on challenges like these individually and in group work. Starting the fall semester, we will also be including a credit-bearing course to help build the students’ skills and providing course credit in the process.
If you would like more information about the PASS Program, or have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-974-6177.