Meeting the Needs of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Executive Functioning Challenges in the College Classroom

The CDC estimates about 1 in 68 have autism spectrum disorder. Do you feel like you could support students more effectively if you had additional knowledge on this spectrum?

Date & Time:

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM


OSF Library, room LL21 (STELAR Active Learning Classroom)

Workshop facilitators Lynn Stansberry-Brusnahan and Kim Schumann will lead participants through an overview of the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders and executive functioning, and a discussion on how associated challenges can impact success in a college course. Attendees will learn the legal requirements for meeting the needs of all of students, including those with disabilities, and how this can be accomplished through universal design strategies. You’ll leave the workshop with techniques to help build an inclusive classroom that meets the needs of all of students.

Workshop Objectives

  • Explain characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and define executive functioning (EF)
  • Articulate challenges associated with ASD and EF in a college classroom
  • Explain legal requirements for accommodations
  • Describe proactive Universal Design for Learning strategies that can be implemented in a college classroom

Workshop Facilitators
L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education where she coordinates the graduate autism spectrum disorder programs. Lynn was the 2012 Autism Society of America Professional of the Year and has served on the Autism Society of America National Board and the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Development Disabilities. Lynn parents a young adult with autism who attends Edgewood College. Lynn supports college-aged students with autism and hosts a summer orientation for pre-college students with autism at the University of St. Thomas campus. She is a co-author of the second edition of Do Watch Listen Say: Social and Communication Skills for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Kimberly Schumann, M.S. is the director of Disability Resources. She has been employed at St. Thomas since 1997. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling and Student Affairs from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She is a member at the state and national levels of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), having formerly served as a board member of MN AHEAD. She has also served on the board of the Minnesota College Professionals Association, having co-lead the Disability Commission. Kimberly has presented at conferences and highs schools on a variety of topics about college students with disabilities. She has served on a variety of committees at St. Thomas, some of which include the Accessibility Coordinating Committee, the Embracing our Differences as One Human Family task force (strategic planning), and the FLAG committee (identifying and supporting at risk students).

To make an accessibility request, call Disability Resources at (651) 962-6315.