Autism Spectrum Disorders


Michigan State University provides services and accommodations to persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) for both academic and workplace settings. The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities fosters independence by helping students and employees harness appropriate strategies and resources for success. We look forward to maximizing your experience at MSU!
ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities which exhibit symptoms of communication, social, and behavioral challenges or delays. The concept of a spectrum means ASDs affect each individual differently with ranging impacts, falling into a number of categories. The ASD Specialist coordinates accommodations and programs to meet the needs of faculty, students and staff on the spectrum. 

Getting Started with RCPD (MyProfile)

Log on to MyProfile to register with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. MyProfile provides online forms and initiates communication with a Disability Specialist.


Documentation of a disability must appear on official letterhead from a licensed medical or diagnostic professional and include a diagnosis, scope or degree of involvement, and summary of related functional limitations. RCPD provides a downloadable Autism Spectrum Disorders form that may be used by medical providers to document conditions.

After documentation of a disability is provided and a needs assessment completed, reasonable accommodations are determined. RCPD will provide a verification letter that includes: (a) verification of disability and status as a student or employee registered with the RCPD (b) an outline of reasonable accommodations.

Students will receive a Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations letter, otherwise known as a VISA.
Employees will receive a Statement of Employee Accommodation Determination letter, otherwise known as a SEAD.


RCPD adheres to strict standards of confidentiality in the management of student information. Since RCPD is the only holder of disability documentation, all disability-related documentation should be directed to RCPD (not other campus departments).

Requesting Accommodations

RCPD recognizes that accommodations may be required in order to assist individuals in maximizing their educational and workplace experience at MSU. While the university provides reasonable accommodations, we do not change essential academic requirements or job functions. Accommodation determinations are based on documentation and individualized needs assessment.
Before Requesting Accommodations, students and employees must Identify and Register as a person with a disability and provide appropriate documentation of their disability to RCPD. Employees should refer to the MSU Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Policy, for the procedure on requesting worksite accommodations.
As ASDs vary widely, accommodations will be unique for each student.  Receiving accommodations is a carefully tailored and individualized collaboration between disability specialist and student. 
RCPD Specialists are committed to an active partnership with students and employees who make reasonable accommodation requests through our office. In the case you experience a disagreement regarding disability determination or appropriateness of accommodations, you may consider taking the steps outlined in our dispute resolution process.


Building Community 

MSU provides many venues for collaboration and community building on disability issues. Please consider becoming involved in organizations including:

Learn more about Asperger Syndrome and its presence on Michigan State's campus.

Frequently Asked Questions 

If you have further questions that have not been answered on this page, please refer to the FAQ Page.

Autism Spectrum Disorders in the News:

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‘Amplifying Autism Awareness’: Student leaders connect with RCPD

One of the newest additions to student life is Spartan Spectrum; the first organization on campus solely dedicated to autism. The RCPD and BOND program have partnered with these college leaders to help shed a new light on autism. Read more on how to get involved with Spartan Spectrum.

BOND Program Promotes Successful Transitions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Last week the RCPD BOND program hosted the Access and Success for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), offering a unique and empowering experience for high school students. Attendees had the opportunity to tour campus, dine in Brody Neighborhood, and discuss strategies for successful transitions into higher education.

High School Students 'Venture' into Higher Education

This summer, the RCPD hosted their third annual Venture Program, accommodating nearly 20 high school students with disabilities. Read the full blog article to view the Venture 2013 recap video, featuring interviews from participants.