How to Prepare for College
- Autistic students might benefit from taking a study skill, paper-writing or test preparation skills class.
- Find tutors or make abstract concepts visual.
- 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.
What to Look for in a College
- A program of academic support with accommodations and tutoring.
- Desirable extracurricular activities that can evolve into social niches.
- Small class sizes with approachable professors.
- A living situation that suits your teen’s needs and likes.
- 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!