Kids With Autism CAN Attend College: Parents, Here Are 6 Steps to Find the Support You Need! by Jennifer Kirchoff
There are several resources available to help students on the spectrum make the transition to college! A great place to begin is with AutismNow.org. With our son successfully completing his first year, we also recommend the following:
- Make sure your child has academic and vocational support set up beyond high school. You should check your state’s Education Department resources.
- If possible, visit schools, identified as having targeted support. Here are two excellent resources through Forbes.com and Today.com.
- If these schools are not within your scope, research and call the Support Services Department at your college(s) and review their web of support, as well as their philosophy and success in working with different departments in terms of modifications available.
- Visit the college for a tour and ask if you can attend on a date with smaller groups to allow for less stimuli and more personalized attention.
- If your child would like to try and live on campus, but good sleep is vital to your child’s health and disruption to his or her routines would be very debilitating, consider having your child’s doctor write a letter to the director of housing, recommending a single room. Do this early, as these rooms are few (but more expensive) and your child can always move into a double or select a specific roommate eventually, when more adjusted to college life. Our son still lives at home, but plans on moving to a single for his last two years.
- Apply for scholarships and use resources reserved especially for students on the spectrum. Learn more about this through AutismSpeaks.org.
Above all, don’t get discouraged! With support, you can find the best fit for your child. We did!