Longhorn TIES Neurodiversity Support
What is the Longhorn TIES Neurodiversity Support Initiative?
Launched in 2019, the Longhorn TIES (Transition, Inclusion, Empower, Success) program within New Student Services coordinates and facilitates neurodiversity initiatives at The University of Texas at Austin. Longhorn TIES seeks to enhance the student experience for students who identify as neurodivergent through advocacy, connections and training, starting with the New Student Orientation process and continuing through the student's tenure at the university. Longhorn TIES encompasses: TIESplus and drop-in student supports, faculty and staff support, the Neurodiversity Leadership Council, presentations and training and more.
Why was Longhorn TIES Neurodiversity Support created?
Throughout the 2018 academic year, campus partners noted an increase in request for support services for students with complex needs such as autism. In 2019, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs recommended an initiative to increase support and awareness for individuals who identify as being on the autism spectrum. Longhorn TIES was created as a way to foster environments that endorse student success and formulate pathways connecting students with the needed resources to enrich the overall student experience.
What are examples of neurodivergent diagnoses?
Common neurodivergent diagnoses include, but are not limited to: Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, and more. UT Austin students interested in seeking formal neurodivergent diagnoses can contact the UT Psychological and Educational Assessment Center, which provides affordable psychological assessments.
Are there any cross-campus collaborations?
Longhorn TIES Neurodiversity Support serves as a resource and a referral network for students and staff across the UT Austin campus. We will work with students and campus partners to facilitate the connection to appropriate resources, make targeted referrals, and provide follow-up support services. Some of our campus partners include: Disability & Access Services, Student Emergency Services, University Health Services, Counseling and Mental Health Center and Sanger Learning Center.
How do I learn more about Longhorn TIES support services?
To learn more about the different service models, please visit Longhorn TIES Neurodiversity Support page.
Student Support Services
What if a student doesn’t have a diagnosis, can they still receive help?
Absolutely! Students do not have to have an official neurodivergent diagnosis to receive services. Students who identify as being on the autism spectrum and other students who identify as neurodivergent are eligible to receive services.
Does Longhorn TIES provide tutoring services?
Longhorn TIES does not provide tutoring services. However, Sanger Learning Center offers free tutoring services to UT Austin students.
Drop-In Support Services
Who is eligible for Longhorn TIES drop-in support services?
UT Austin undergraduate and graduate students who identify as neurodivergent are eligible for Longhorn TIES drop-in services. Students may access up to three free drop-in meetings per semester. To learn more about the different service models, please visit the Longhorn TIES Student Support page.
What services are included in the cost of TIESplus services?
TIESplus services, available to eligible UT Austin students, is an additional support service provided by trained coaches who are experienced in supporting the needs of neurodivergent college students. Our trained coaches provide direct and indirect support to students on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Students participating in TIESplus will receive direct support such individualized coaching meetings, drop-in support meetings, wrap-around support services, monthly professional development meetings, social skill development and monthly student meetings. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in professional and social skill development training through monthly meetings and workshops.
How do UT Austin students apply for TIESplus?
Students apply for services by completing TIESplus application. Once the application is submitted, students will be directed to the Longhorn TIES Microsoft Booking page to schedule an initial consult meeting.
What happens after a UT Austin student is accepted for TIESplus through Longhorn TIES?
After acceptance into TIESplus, the student and a Longhorn TIES staff member will create an action plan to assist the student in addressing their individualized goals. During the student’s first semester receiving services, students are required to attend coaching meetings, participate in professional and social development monthly meetings and exclusive student halls.
How many students are accepted into the TIESplus program each year?
The number of students accepted into TIESplus is contingent on staff availability, Students interested in applying for TIESplus can visit student support services page.
Can I request financial assistance or a sponsorship to participate in TIESplus?
Yes! Students interested in sponsorship are encouraged to contact their local Texas Workforce Commission-Vocational Rehabilitation office to speak with a counselor about possible financial assistance prior to applying for TIESplus services. To find your local TWC Vocational Rehabilitation Services Office, please click here. In addition, UT Austin Financial Aid office may provide assistance in securing financial aid for TIESplus. To learn more about financial aid assistance or other scholarship opportunities reach out to Longhorn TIES Program Administrator.
Will Longhorn TIES continue to offer some non-fee-based services?
Yes! Longhorn TIES will offer drop-in coaching support services to all neurodivergent UT Austin students, social event programming and more. Visit Longhorn TIES Neurodiversity Support to learn more.
When will applications open?
Applications for TIESplus are reviewed on a rolling basis. Admittance into TIESplus is based on staff availability.
What is the difference between the services provided through the CARE program with Counseling and Mental Health Center and Longhorn TIES?
CARE counselors are located within the colleges they serve. They are licensed mental health professionals and work with students who have been referred by faculty and staff. CARE counselors provide short term individual counseling sessions. CARE’s primary mission is to provide access to mental health support for students who are struggling emotionally and/or academically. For students who identify as being on the autism spectrum or neurodiverse, Longhorn TIES provides long-term support services aimed at helping students develop skills and confidence in relation to self-advocacy and self-management (inside and outside the classroom) in the following ways: introducing students to UT Austin resources that may help them, assisting students with navigating new and challenging situations, helping them prioritize academic tasks as well as providing other skill development training. Longhorn TIES does not provide mental health services to UT Austin students, but will work as a liaison to connect students to the services provided through the Counseling and Mental Health Center.
Faculty and Staff Support Services
What is the difference between Longhorn TIES and Disability and Access Services?
Disability & Access Services (D&A), a department in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, determines eligibility and helps implement reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities at UT Austin. They also engage in outreach across campus in order to make campus a more inclusive, accessible and welcoming environment for people with disabilities. More information about their office is available at diversity.utexas.edu. Longhorn TIES within New Student Services, a department of the Division of Student Affairs, collaborates with Disability and Access Services by serving as a liaison to ensure students who contact us receive well-rounded support services.
What supports are available to assist faculty, staff and student leaders in supporting neurodivergent students?
Longhorn TIES provides educational acceptance trainings to UT Austin faculty, staff and student leaders regarding best practices for supporting neurodivergent students. In addition, the Longhorn TIES program administrator can provide additional support to faculty and staff who may need assistance in working with neurodivergent students. Complete this form to request a presentation.
What supports are available for neurodivergent faculty and staff?
Longhorn TIES maintains a faculty and staff resource page related to neurodiversity, including resources for neurodivergent faculty and staff.
How can UT Austin faculty and staff refer students to Longhorn TIES?
UT Austin faculty and staff who believe a student may benefit from Longhorn TIES can refer the student to the student support services page. Faculty and staff may contact Longhorn TIES administrator directly for additional student assistance.