By Angela Becker
There are many resources for children with autism, but, as one grows older, there are fewer places to turn to for help. A disability support services specialist at Seminole State College aims to provide a new resource with the Full Spectrum Support Group.
Robin Hofmann first became interested in autism when she was 19 years old.
“I was in a behavioral therapy class at UCF, and the teacher showed a video of a child with autism . . .. I was totally amazed,” she explained. “I couldn’t stop staring at the screen.”
She felt a burning desire to work with children like the one in the video, Hofmann said. Eventually, she landed a job that serves children, and now Hofmann has more than 25 years of experience caring for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder, including her own daughter.
Hofmann said she created the support group because she saw the need for it.
“I recognized that we had many students attending Seminole State who were on the autism spectrum,” she explained, “and while they were being successful academically, they were struggling socially or struggling with organizational skills, time management skills, any of those executive functioning-type things. I wanted to make sure that they had the opportunity to be successful.”
The first group consisted of four students who gathered at the Oviedo campus. The group has grown to more than 20 students who meet in Oviedo and at the Sanford/Lake Mary campus. Hofmann said she has hope for the support group’s future.
“I’d love to do a group on every campus,” Hofmann said. “I would love to be able to support all students on the spectrum.”
The students attending the Full Spectrum Support Group expressed high hopes as well.
“I really like it,” said Jordan, a student in the group, “It’s cool to know that I have some people who know what it’s like to have Asperger’s syndrome. I feel like the group will help make the struggles that I have as a student with A.S. more manageable.”
For more information, contact Hofmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.