On Friday, April 16, the University of Connecticut’s School of Pharmacy will host an interactive day of learning with 12 high-functioning students between the ages of 15 and 21 who have autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.
Scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., the event will open with a lecture about the pharmacy profession, which is designed to help the participants understand the importance of their medication therapy. Pharmacy students also will speak about the duties of a pharmacist, and what a pharmacist can do to help people with autism.
After lunch, participants will team up with pharmacy students and graduate students in order to make a “medicine” using the university labs. None of the materials to be used in this activity are harmful.
“The most important part of a pharmacist’s job is to provide our patients with an understanding of their medication regimen,” says Carlie Hershgordon, president of the Pharmacy Student Government and coordinator of the event.
The participating students will tour the School of Pharmacy and meet with other students their own age, Hershgordon says. The day has been designed to instill into the participating students the confidence to ask questions of their pharmacists if they are ever unsure about the medication therapy they are prescribed. The program also hopes to help participants understand that medication can have positive, negative, and potentially dangerous side-effects, depending on whether or not it is properly used, Hershgordon says.
While the program was designed with the participants in mind, the pharmacy students taking part in the event will also greatly benefit from the experience, Hershgordon says. April is national autism awareness month.
“It is important for pharmacists to understand and interact with their patients,” says Hershgordon. “By participating in this day of enrichment, our pharmacy students will have the opportunity to interact with patients that they may encounter in the pharmacy.”
The event is hosted by UConn’s Pharmacy Student Government in collaboration with the CT Family Support Network, and is sponsored by Target.
For more information:
Carlie Hershgordon, 267-577-4599
Colin Poitras, 860-486-4656