Embracing Neurodiversity in Higher Education – How You Can Shape a Future of Acceptance
“Neurodiversity” is both a biological and a cultural phenomenon. Learning about the culture of neurodiversity will widen your perspective for those whose brains function in ways different from the neurotypical mainstream. This strengths-based, positive approach will alter your view of "outside-the-box" thinkers. Learn how proper niche construction can mold the future for neurodivergent students and how you can provide a community of acceptance for your campus.
Accommodations Coordinator - Student Access and Accommodation
Illinois State University
Lori Henehan, Accommodations Coordinator for Student Access and Accommodation Services at Illinois State University, has 20 years of experience providing accommodations and transition support to students with various disabilities and chronic medical and/or mental health conditions. She has served two terms as Secretary for the Illinois-Iowa Association of Higher Education and Disability. She has given several presentations on suicide prevention, mental health, and autism within her local affiliate. She is a member of the Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project - a grant-funded program to issue autism resources. She supports to professionals and families involved in postsecondary education, secondary education and employment. She has also served the Association of Higher Education and Disability as a peer reviewer for proposals for their annual conference. Lori is passionate about neurodivergent student success in their studies and future employment.
Charles Titus Boudreaux
Staff Psychologist - Student Counseling Services
Illinois State University
For over 20 years, Charles Titus Boudreaux has been a Staff Psychologist at Student Counseling Services, Illinois State University. Dr. Boudreaux is passionate about group work, individual counseling, and clinical supervision. Throughout his career, Dr. Boudreaux has had the privilege of assisting neurodiverse clients with navigating college alongside the neurotypical majority. He has watched individuals cope with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and other related difficulties. Dr. Boudreaux has learned to recognize not only such persons’ struggles and hurts, but their gifts. He offers clinical wisdom drawn from both group and individual counseling, in particular highlighting ways in which groups can be helpful to people with autism.
Program Director - TRIO Student Support Services
Dimitrios Jason Stalides is the Director of the TRIO Student Support Services program at Augustana College, a program that provides in-depth and individualized support and guidance to low-income, first-generation, and disabled students. He has worked with disabled students in TRIO and other programs for over ten years, as well as disabled veterans with PTSD and other mental health issues in both the college and clinical settings. As an autistic person himself, support and advocacy work for disabled students is a work of personal passion for him and a budding area of research expertise. The doctoral dissertation he is working on for the Higher Education Administration program at Illinois State University explores the unique strengths and challenges of neurodiverse leaders in higher education and how neurodivergent leaders can help foster a more inclusive and accessible environment that better meets the needs of not only disabled students but also underrepresented students in general.