1. Do I need to be a University of Maryland student to participate in SIGNA?
Yes. All SIGNA members must be currently enrolled as University of Maryland students. We are currently exploring ideas of opening enrollment for SIGNA to other area college students here at UMD's campus.
Please note, some members begin SIGNA as a freshman while others start later in their college years. We recommend you begin SIGNA in the fall of your freshman year so that your adjustment to college life runs more smoothly.
2. What days & times does SIGNA meet?
SIGNA groups, run by Peer Coaches, meet weekly on Friday afternoons in LeFrak 0110 throughout the fall and spring semesters. However, if there are enough SIGNA members with schedule conflicts for that day/time, new days/times for groups may be added as the need arises. Individual times with Communication Coaches are scheduled around the member's and coach's schedule.
Social times with Peer Coaches are scheduled 1-2 times per month each semester at various times, but mostly in the evenings and weekends. In addition, SIGNA members and Peer Mentor "check-ins" are at least weekly with the SIGNA member.
3. Do I have to pay to participate in SIGNA? If so, do you take insurance?
Each student participating in the SIGNA program will be required to pay a program fee of $3500/academic year.
We do not participate with any insurer (including Medicaid and Medicare). Therefore, payment is due at the beginning of the program. Payment plans are possible at the request of the SIGNA member. Some insurance plans may reimburse for our speech-language pathology services and, as a courtesy, we can provide a summary of the individual and group sessions attended. We cannot guarantee that the member will be eligible for coverage or reimbursement from them. Please contact your insurance company to verify benefits and reimbursement rates.
In addition, some parents living in Maryland have reported that the Maryland State Department of Education Department of Rehabilitative Services (DORS) may help fund their student's participation in SIGNA. The Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences (in which SIGNA is a part of) has recently been added as a DORS vendor. dors.maryland.gov/consumers/specialized/Pages/autism.aspx
4. What is included in the fees?
Included in the fee:
5. How do I register for SIGNA?
The prospective SIGNA member will need to fill out a SIGNA application/case history form with the Department of Hearing and Speech Clinic. To receive the form, please email the UMD Hearing and Speech Clinic at HESPCLINIC@UMD.edu
6. CAN I BE A PART OF SIGNA IF I DO NOT HAVE AUTISM?
Yes, as a participant, we do accept students who would like to be a part of SIGNA who do not have autism. One merely has to indicate difficulties with social interaction and/or executive functioning skills.
In addition, if students would like to be a Peer Coach or Peer Mentor, they will need to fill out an application of involvement, interview with the SIGNA clinical faculty and be selected to participate. Our In-house SIGNA training is required.
Feel free to email Kathy Dow-Burger at email@example.com if you are interested or have any questions. If you are a HESP major, applications go out the semester prior to the semester of involvement.