Autism Mentoring Program
This project was created by Alexander Murphy-Nakhnikian in 2003
while he was a freshman and an Honors College student. Since its
inception this program has grown into a partnership between the Hutton Honors
College, the Bloomington Chapter of the Autism Society, Monroe County
Corporation and the families of the young people being mentored.
Financial support has been generously provided by a Metz grant and
in-kind support by the Hutton Honors College.
Training and ongoing supervision is provided during each semester students
are matched with a young person. Intake opportunities are offered each
year for IU students with a CGPA of 3.0 or higher.
See below for:
The Autism Mentoring Program sets out to provide "buddies" for children
in elementary and middle school with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome.
Begun in the Fall of
2003 there are currently 12 young people matched with Honors College
Mentors are expected to arrange one outing per week for one or more
hours depending on the activity. This could be mid
week or, more typically, on a Saturday or Sunday and needs to
be carefully coordinated with the family.
Mentors are asked to commit to one calendar year to provide
for the young person. If the match is going well and both mentor and
young person want to stay connected beyond this time that would be fine.
This is not a requirement.
The goal is to help these children acquire the skills required to function
in social situations. Like the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program,
volunteers and children engage in various activities one-on-one, such as
going out to lunch, seeing a movie, or playing in a park.
Before being matched, potential mentors must complete a short training
course, an interview and supply a Limited Criminal History Check, along
with a Driver's License and Proof of Car Insurance if they plan to
provide transportation to their mentee. Once matched,
participation in monthly supervision meetings is mandatory.
We are looking for motivated students who have a sincere interest in
serving their community and who enjoy working with children. Prior
experience with autism or special needs young people is not required but
Students need to be doing well academically, evidenced by a
CGPA of 3.0 or highter. Volunteers are required to attend one training
session and monthly supervision meetings (evenings), and be dependable in
their weekly outings with their "little buddy".
Having your own transportation is a definite advantage but not a core
Paste the headings below into a word file. Send your completed
# Semesters enrolled at IU:
Age/Sex Preference of mentee:
Previous Community Service Experience:
Essay: (this is important - parents will read this as part of the match process)
Briefly describe your interest in the
Mentoring Program, you as a person and your hobbies/interests, and what
you bring to being a mentor.
For Local Parents
Thank you for your interest in the Autism Mentoring Program for your
child. For accountability and safety purposes the number of matches we are
able to accomodate is small. Please contact the Coordinator of Student
inquire if we are able to receive new enrollments.
If new enrollments are being received an enrollment form and
information about the match process will be sent to you.
Address any questions to the Autism Mentoring Program Intern or
Coordinator of Student Programs by sending an email to