Sharita Forrest at the University of Illinois
Neurodivergent students who will be incoming freshmen at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the upcoming fall semester are encouraged to apply to a program geared toward helping them succeed academically, socially and professionally.
The Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative offers a variety of supports and services for students with conditions in which the brain functions, learns and stores information in atypical ways, including autism, dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
INI is a comprehensive four-year program that supports neurodivergent students in achieving their highest potential in college and beyond, said program creator Jeanne Kramer, the director of The Autism Program of Illinois, the on-campus partner of the statewide TAP Service Network.
INI was launched last fall as a pilot program with an inaugural cohort of 10 students – including some sophomores – who had a variety of majors, including business and engineering.
“INI has been incredibly beneficial for our son,” said a parent of one of the students. “Before this program, we were worried he may not be ready for college. However, INI has helped him make the transition. In addition, INI has taught him a lot about who he is and what his strengths are. We are grateful to the program for helping our son become a successful college student.”