Prepare Your Child With Autism For College

ACBDD Inclusion

June 8, 2015

The decision to attend college can be a hard one for any young adult to make. However, if your child is living with autism the decision to extend their education can seem more like an obstacle than a possibility, but it doesn’t always have to be. Each case of autism varies with where it lies on the severity spectrum, and your child’s own characteristics and unique circumstances should be evaluated. If you think college is even an option for your child there are several things you can do during your child’s high school years to support and encourage them in becoming college ready. Here are a few tips you can use in preparing your child for college:

1. Start Preparing Early

As with any well developed plan, it takes time to get it started and make sure it is effective. Give yourself and your child time to adjust to the goals you are setting. Set a plan and make amends to it as time goes on. Set your goals and start your preparation before high school using each year as a marker of the progress. This way, you’re always on top of where you want to be and where you want to go.

2. Learn Good Study Habits

Every college professor may not be able to adjust their teaching style specifically for your child, so it is important they know how they learn best. Help your child find out whether independent studying or group discussion works better for their learning abilities. Stay involved in their schoolwork when they need help, but help them to work through challenges and achieve their own academic goals.

3. Practice Independence

Whether it is doing laundry, cooking meals, or cleaning their room: give them responsibility and work they can do on their own. They may not be able to do every single thing for themselves, but developing their own skills and independence is important to their being away from home.

4. Engage in Social Encounters

Often times it is not the school work or education that is the problem in autism, but rather the social aspects of life. Encourage your child to get involved with other students. If making friends with students in classes seems hard to start with, have your child do volunteer work. This will help them to talk to other people while it won’t be the main focus. Ease your child into building relationships.

5. Research Schools With the Right Resources

There are schools and programs that offer additional resources for students with disabilities. Look into what school will be best suited for your child not only academically but also in their college experience. It is never too early to familiarize yourself with higher education opportunities. College doesn’t only have to be a dream. The process may seem extensive, but the results could be well worth it. With the right preparation you can see your child succeed in their academic goals.

https://www.autismspeaks.org/docs/family_services_docs/CollegeLiving.pdf

http://mamaot.com/2015/03/01/tips-to-help-parents-of-teens-with-autism-prepare-for-high-school-

college/