Pierpont Community College partnering with WV Autism Training Center for new online mentor program

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MARION COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - The West Virginia Autism Training Center has been offering an in-person course on how to become an autism mentor for nearly 20 years.

Now, a partnership with a local college that has been in the works for almost two years will let residents earn their mentorship online.

"We have an agreement for Pierpont Community and Technical College and the West Virginia Mentor Training facility to bring their curriculum to an online platform to be available through the state," said Kimberly Cale, Director of Operations for Continuing Education Department.

The course will run from June 3rd to August 9th, and cover 10 modules on how to work with and mentor someone diagnosed with autism.

Topics range from developing social skills and functional communication, among others.

"It allows them to understand more about sensory, as well as inclusion."

Cale says the course is important for professionals in the state's education system to take so they can be trained in working with those with autism, and adapt to their learning needs.

"Sometimes we need to think outside of the box, and know if it's a sensory overload situation or something else that is causing them to not be able to engage in the way we'd like them to."

While the program is geared towards professionals, Cale says the more they promote the program, the more calls they get from interested parents.

"I've had several calls from parents saying there is just not enough information in this area. And where there is, they're being put on waitlists to be able to get into classes or find out more information."

The school plans to offer the online course at least three times a year. To register you can visit www.pierpont.edu/ce, or call Kimberly Cale at 304-534-7887.