General Information About the Autism Project

History/Evolution

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Autism Project (USMGC Autism Project) officially began on November 1, 2009.  Project planning activities, including planning for the location where the project would be housed and hiring project staff, occurred from that date through mid-July 2010. Autism Project staff moved into their present location on July 27, 2010, and the first student began receiving services on August 23, 2010.  On December 1, 2012, the Autism Project was established as a university-based program by the Mississippi Department of Education - Office of Special Education in accordance with Sections 37-23-31 through 37-23-35 of the Mississippi Code.

Location

The USMGC Autism Project is a university-based program that is run by University of Southern Mississippi employees.  However, the project is housed within the Long Beach School District. The project, which includes the Autism Demonstration School, is located at Long Beach Middle School, 204 North Cleveland Avenue, Long Beach, MS 39560.  While the project is not a part of the Long Beach School District, the project's placement at Long Beach Middle School is very beneficial as it enables the project's staff to demonstrate, through the operation of the Autism Demonstration School, how to design and implement an appropriate educational program for a student with autism in an actual school environment.

Autism Resource Libraries

There is a resource library for parents within the Parent Training and Information Center at the USMGC Autism Project’s facility, as well as a resource library for professionals.  Available resources include  books, DVDs, and curricula.  Additionally, there is a "Make-and-Take" facility in the Workroom at this facility.

Funding

The Mississippi Department of Education - Office of Special Education provides noteworthy funding for the operation of the Autism Project.  Accordingly, the project's activities are available, at no cost, to students, caregivers, school personnel, and citizens throughout Mississippi.

For Additional Information

For additional information about the USMGC Autism Project, please call 228.863.1755, fax to 228.863.1794, or send an e-mail to autism@usm.edu.