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California State University, Long Beach
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Bob Murphy ACCESS Center. Autism Services
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Autism Services

LIFE Project

LIFE Project Logo

The LIFE Project (Learning Independence for Empowerment), developed in 2009, is for students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Asperger Syndrome, or other social-cognitive deficit. Within this program, students participate in workshops, presentations, and projects as well as participate in interactive games, eat lunch, and socialize. This program is run by the Autism Services Coordinator with the Bob Murphy Access Center (BMAC) at CSULB and other experienced professionals. During the LIFE Project meetings, students work on social interactions, time management, and fine tune self-governing abilities to navigate the campus more efficiently as well as learn skills needed for careers. The program promotes independence and autonomy through social interactions, coaching and role-play. There is no fee for students to participate in this program through BMAC.

LIFE Project Brochure

Program Components

Peer coaching- Students from various majors apply as interns to work with students that have autism on social and communication goals one or twice a week.

Friday workshops- Students attend workshops every Friday that consist of the topics below presented by the interns. RSVP is required every week as free lunch is offered to the members of the program.

Parent seminars- Parents are invited to attend a seminar once a semester in the evenings that will provide more information on the program as well as tools that they can use in supporting their son or daughter's success in college. At this time, they also have the opportunity to meet the peer coach and discuss any goals they have for their son or daughter.

LIFE Project Workshop Topics

  • Navigating the campus - socializing with peers and talking to professors (self-advocacy)
  • Having conversations and listening to others
  • Understanding the importance of how other's think (Theory of Mind)
  • Learning to change your behavior based upon other's reactions
  • Friendship - Deciding who to choose as a friend, how to maintain friendships, and how to handle disagreements
  • Dating - How to recognize if someone is interested in you, how to make or accept an initial approach, dealing with sexuality and sexual issues
  • Grooming and Hygiene
  • Job Skills - Searching for jobs, going on interviews, dressing for work, skills needed to keep a job
  • Money management skills
  • Independent living skills
  • Compromising and flexibility
  • Handling frustration, anger and anxiety

LIFE Leadership

Is a component to our program that serves students that have been in the LIFE Project for at least a year and are ready to work on career development and leadership skills. This group has lunch with the LIFE Project and moves into another room where students practice presenting, providing constructive feedback, and lead their own workshops. If you would like more information, please contact Shauna.Hagemann@csulb.edu.

Recreational Exercise and Counseling Activity Program (RECAP)

New to our program is the recreation exercise and counseling activity program. This component is ran by an Independence Facilitator from psychology who counsels students on a group and individual basis during recreational activities. This group meets after the LIFE Project meetings on Friday afternoons. All activities are on campus. Please email if interested: Shauna.Hagemann@csulb.edu

Transition Integration Program on Socialization (TIPS)

Also new to our program, we have a group that meets on Fridays and focuses on social aspects of the university. Some of the topics of the meetings include social anxiety, networking with peers and professors on campus, using the relationship rating scale, and concerns related to social networking. If you are interested in more information please email: Shauna.Hagemann@csulb.edu

Parents: Click Here
Faculty and Staff: Click Here
Autism Ally LogoClick the Autism Ally sticker to the right for the Autism Ally website.

Faculty and Staff

The next Autism Ally for faculty and administrators is to be announced. You must RSVP to attend the event as we distribute personal items and must limit our attendance to 40 people.

Supporting students with autism in the classroom requires knowledge about ASD and some of the challenges they face. Some quick tips are listed below in the faculty informational flyer:

Student Information

Paid Internship Opportunities

For more information regarding LIFE Project internship positions, please email BMAC at Shauna.Hagemann@csulb.edu

Shauna Hagemann
Autism Services Associate

Location: SSC-110
Phone: (562) 985-1675
Fax: (562) 985-7183
Email: Shauna.Hagemann@csulb.edu

Autism Services Assistant

Location: SSC-110
Phone: (562) 985-1675
Fax: (562) 985-7183

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Autism Graphic