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How to Prepare for College

  1. Autistic students might benefit from taking a study skill, paper-writing or test preparation skills class.
  2. Find tutors or make abstract concepts visual.
  3. Mentor and practice life skills with your autistic teens (Do this prior to college).

*Cleaning, laundry, money management

*Some elements can be deferred or presented stepwise to keep from overwhelming them.

4. Allow for transitioning your autistic teen to increased independence, academic demands, and more decision making.

*Attending a community college for a year before continuing baccalaureate studies.

*Living at home for the first year before moving to campus.

5. Students must learn to advocate for oneself.

*This needs to be practiced in high school (or earlier).

*Your teen needs to understand his/her needs before he/she can explain them to others.

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What to Look for in a College

  1. A program of academic support with accommodations and tutoring.
  2. Desirable extracurricular activities that can evolve into social niches.
  3. Small class sizes with approachable professors.
  4. A living situation that suits your teen’s needs and likes.
  5. Able to visit home as often as possible or as the need arises.

*Realize that needs are always changing and evolving throughout life.

*Try to not be so overbearing or micromanage your autistic teen’s life (really hard for this mom) and grow into a coach to point them in the right direction instead of doing things “for them”. Learn to let go!

To all the parents of autistic/ special needs children everywhere, be proud of the unique, gifted, and wonderful individual your teen is!