A second-year student at Georgia Tech, Chatman is carrying on a family tradition. Chatman’s dad attended Georgia Tech, and his grandfather played football under beloved coach, and BDI namesake, Bobby Dodd. But as a student with autism, Chatman is also forging his own path, learning how to be more social and practice good hygiene in addition to taking classes and exploring career options.
BDI’s Benefits Navigation team helped Chatman apply for Social Security benefits when he turned 18. Soon after, Chatman started Georgia Tech EXCEL, a four-year college program designed for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
When Chatman needed additional social support, he began working with Brandon Printup, who leads BDI’s Behavioral Health program. Launched this year, Behavioral Health employs a holistic lifespan approach to behavioral and mental health services.
“Brandon is helping me with going out more,” said Chatman. “I am less stressed, and my behavior has improved a lot.” Carolyn, Chatman’s mom, added, “Chatman has accomplished so much this past year.” Carolyn, Brandon, and Chatman are encouraged by the progress and excited about the future.
Whatever path Chatman pursues after Georgia Tech, BDI has helped him develop skills that will serve him for life.