Each Thursday inside Lord Fairfax Community College’s (LFCC) Fairfax Hall room 215, a group students gather in a space where they say they can truly be themselves.
Meeting people who have some form of disability like me and interacting with them just to see if, just to connect with people like me.” LFCC student Daniel Patterson says.
Bond- The bureau of neurodiversity, is a club that was designed to create a nurturing, socially-supportive environment for neurodiverse students which includes those on the autism spectrum, those with ADHD, PTSD, and other various disorders and disabilities.
“I know how difficult it was for me in college as an autistic kid not really understanding sociality very well.” Faculty advisor Ramon Selove says.
Faculty advisor Ramon Selove has worked at LFCC for 28 years and says he’s been pushing for the college to have an official support system for students on the spectrum and those with other neurologically-divergent conditions . Selove says he knows first hand what challenges they face.
“There are things about being autistic that can make it easier to do some things in college but make it much harder to do other things.” he says.
Daniel Rioux says one of the biggest challenges for those in the group can be socialization, because making connections in college isn’t as easy as it may have been in years past.
“You know longer have the program set up for you to help accommodate some of your needs to help you meet people connect with them it lives a lot of autistic students in particular feeling lost in the environment.”Rioux says.
He says the club gives members the chance to address and understand issues ,concerns and behaviors allowing them the chance to apply what they’ve learned in other classrooms and beyond.
“They can come and be like hey this happened and I don’t understand why how can I deal with that or how can I grow?” Rioux says.
At the request of the club, LFCC is getting its first “sensory room,” which will be a haven for those who are neuro-diverse and in need of a safe place.