Building Opportunities for Networking and Discovery (BOND)

Welcoming students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), BOND went live in 2010, offering extensive opportunities for social and communication development. Personal contributions have given students at Michigan State University with ASDs a new opportunity to connect with one another, grow both personally and as a unit, and make continued contributions to MSU and the Autism community.  The BOND program vision statement, created by program-participants, empowers students as they participate and shape the development of this dynamic program.

The vision of the MSU BOND program:
  • Connect with others sharing similar interests and/or challenges
  • Enhance and practice social and coping skills
  • Build self-esteem and personal concept
  • Pursue new experiences in a safe and supportive environment
  • Develop academic skills and effective support systems

Continued participant feedback contributes to ongoing development and improvements of this program as it gains momentum.  Help us grow this opportunity and increase capacity by supporting this innovative program.  BOND welcomes students with ASDs to become a part of the BOND mission.  To become involved and find out what this program can do for you, contact the Autism Spectrum Disability Specialist.

A Closer Look

Social Learning Experiences (SLEs):  A core element of the BOND program, social learning experiences offers a guided and safe environment to develop skills.  SLEs offered throughout the semester create opportunities for connecting with others who share similar experiences and challenges.  Each social learning experience incorporates engaging activities with purposeful and individualized skill development.

Support and Skill Building Group:  Facilitated groups empower students with ASDs through social connections, self-exploration, and skill building; become a foundation for skill development using cognitive-behavioral strategies, information exchange and peer mentoring and support. The support and skill building group focuses on improving executive functioning skills and enhancing social skills, while reinforcing individual areas of focus and goal development.

Individualized Curriculum Programming: The BOND Curriculum takes a strengths and needs-based approach, incorporating strategies and activities that can be applied to participating students' daily lives. BOND participants have the opportunity to meet with the BOND Program Coordinator as well as mentors to discuss personal goals, strengths, and challenges to develop strategies for success.

Outreach Facilitation:  The BOND program expands services available to students at MSU with ASDs through integrating students without ASDs as Outreach Facilitators into monthly social learning experiences, providing inclusive, more natural opportunities for BOND participants to connect with others in order to practice social skills. Outreach Facilitators are encouraged to initiate social activities with individuals within a variety of natural contexts. This initiative increases the awareness of a wide variety of MSU students about the unique strengths and needs of this population.

Integrative Technology:  BOND participants employ integrative technology to analyze and address areas for individualized growth, including developing skills for self-monitoring and independence. The integration of assistive technology enhances executive functioning skills such as time management and organization. Students create personalized goals to maximize utilization of assistive technology to enhance independence as well as academic and career outcomes.

Civic Engagement:  Educational seminars and workshops build knowledge, raise awareness, and promote appreciation of diversity. By pairing with the MSU Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, the BOND program engages in volunteer opportunities at MSU and within the community.  As an identity building experience, MSU students with ASDs showcase ability for families and K-12 students, serving as model beneficiaries giving back to the community through service learning and supportive transition services.

Make a gift to the Building Opportunities for Networking and Discovery Program (BOND).

This donor-supported program provides awareness and expanded opportunity for persons with disabilities. You can help support this initiative or find out more about other RCPD programs and giving opportunities by visiting the Financial Contributions page.

BOND in the News:

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Expertise and Dedication Provides Leadership in Autism and Mental Health

The RCPD is going through a transition of our own as we warmly welcome Grace (Boyang) Tong as an ASD and Psychiatric Disability Specialist, and bid Kelsey Foote farewell as she takes on a new adventure in the field.

No Boundaries: RCPD Students Engage Opportunity to Study Abroad

Hundreds of students at Michigan State set out on study abroad adventures across the globe every summer. Two of our very own RCPD students decided to share their experiences with us!

Apply for the Workforce Recruitment Program!

Are you interested in working in the government for the summer or after you graduate? If so, The Academic Resource Center would like to tell you about a great opportunity for RCPD students!