October 1, 2023

Teaching Tactics

Lauren Puglia applies lessons learned in her classroom.

Autism Awareness Day Event to Benefit UMW Play Lab

American Family Fitness at Southpoint Plaza (Massaponax exit) is sponsoring an Autism Awareness Day charity event on Saturday, April 2, at noon. There will be activities for individuals and families. Lunch is provided by Chili’s, and Chick-fil-A. Muvico Theaters, Best Buy, and Quaker Steak & Lube are also involved in the activities. Participants are asked to wear blue apparel to support Autism Awareness and to receive a free gift from Chick-fil-A. All donations received will support the UMW Autism Clinic and Play Lab, a developmental program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related developmental disabilities.

UMW Play Lab Open!

University of Mary Washington’s Play Lab opened on October 18th. Play Lab is a collaborative effort between UMW, Helping Hands Pediatric Occupational Therapy, and Exceptional Support Services of Fredericksburg. In the two weeks that UMW students have been working with children with developmental disabilities (such as intellectual disability and autism), progress has already been noted by UMW students. The ten UMW students have enjoyed the experience of using research-based interventions, receiving feedback on their work, and adjusting their teaching strategy based on the supportive feedback. Heather DeCou, owner of Exceptional Support Services, and one of the supervisors of Play Lab stated, “There are few opportunities like this for UMW students to gain experience, receive supervision, and make a difference in the community all in one course!” There are still slots available for the spring section of EDSE 547, the special topics course that trains students to work in Play Lab. Undergraduates and graduates may apply and there is no prerequisite needed. For more information contact: Nicole Myers, Ph.D, nmyers@umw.edu, or 540-286-8026.