Neurodiversity advocate Robison to teach, consult at W&M
One of the nation’s most well-known and influential neurodiversity advocates is bringing his expertise and counsel to William & Mary this academic year.
John Elder Robison, who has used his personal experience with Asperger’s Syndrome to inform national public policy, will serve as a scholar-in-residence at the university, consulting with faculty and students and co-teaching a class on neurodiversity.
William and Mary Alumni Magazine: Matters of the Mind
"I love the brain said Danielle Thomas ’14, who transferred to William & Mary in spring 2012 with a consuming passion. “The heart is boring; it’s just a pump. The brain is so intricate and delicate. It’s an amazing, wonderful creation.”
Thomas dove eagerly into neuroscience studies, eventually majoring in psychology. But switching colleges can be a bumpy ride for any student — and Thomas, who has an autism spectrum disorder known as Asperger’s Syndrome, isn’t just any student.
Creating Inclusive Classrooms for Students With Autism
Since 2012, the Neurodiversity Working Group has been working to explore and celebrate the neurological differences in the College's population. Last year, a University Teaching Project grew out of the group, with the aim to focus on the classroom experience for students.
College Works To Promote Neurodiversity
When people think of diversity, they generally think of racial and cultural differences and numerous College of William and Mary student organizations aim to create a more diverse campus community. Recently, the College has begun working to increase student understanding of a different type of diversity — neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is the practice of acknowledging differences in learning.
New York Times Best-selling Author Visits William & Mary
While visiting the College, Mr. John Elder Robison, a descendant of both Jamestown and Williamsburg colonists whose ancestors include Rowland Jones, the first rector of Bruton Parish, took a tour of that historic church. He also met with the Neurodiveristy Working Group, had lunch with students interested in neurodiversity issues, spoke with PSYCH 101 students in Professor Connie Pilkington’s class, and ended the day with a standing-room only presentation, introduced by Provost Michael Halleran, to students, faculty, professionals and community members. Read more about Mr. Robison's visit to William & Mary: