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Video Transcript: KAP College ProgramDate of video: September 4, 2008
One of out of 150 children is diagnosed with autism. A lot of attention is placed on early intervention and therapies but what happens when the children are old enough to go to college? WKU's Kelly Autism Program is reaching out to them as well.
20 year old Jeffery Milberg is a freshman from California who was just diagnosed with autism this year. He knew he needed a special environment to continue his education.
"Nice quite place to study. Your own room so it's nice and comfortable so you can work by yourself if you need to. And they just had all that and it wasn't offered for me back home."
The Kelly Autism Program envisioned by John and Linda Kelly of Bowling Green focuses on every aspect of an autistic child's life.
"Here they focus on the whole kid, the ancillary issues, academics, social interaction and communication."
Dr. Rich Mancil came to WKU as KAP's assistant director a few months ago. He is working with the older students to ensure a successful university experience.
"The biggest thing was the college age. There's very little research or services for kids with autism once they pass elementary school."
KAP director Dr. Marty Boman admits not all students will graduate.
But she says people define success differently.
"Its a hard thing to measure. Is it a 4 year degree? Is it a one year away from home learning independence?"
Its a program WKU is hoping will be replicated across the country.
"KAP's already been recognized nationally and its part of the reason I came but I think you know that promise is going to get out even more. We work with younger kids but you know the older population; there's very few places that tend to even have them on their radar."
22 students are currently enrolled in WKU's KAP college program while more than 100 are signed up at the elementary level. With this week's View From The Hill, I'm Amy Bingham.