Starting 6th form college with Asperger's Syndrome

Posted by: helzy — over 7 years ago (10 comments)

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Hi everyone,

I've just joined up and would welcome hearing about your experiences of starting 6th form college. My son, who has AS, also Type 1 Diabetes, hopes to start college next September. He left his mainstream comprehensive half way through yr9 after suffering a breakdown following nearly two years of almost daily bullying, He is attending another comp for one GCSE, I provide education at home for the others. He is keen to begin college but also very anxious about becoming the target for more bulling again. I would love to hear about your experience, and welcome any advice! Also, could anyone reccomend a digital voice recorder please?!

Many thanks, Helen

Comments

Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

From Laura Gardner - I work with many young adults with ASD at a technical college.  My advise for most of the students is start with one or two classes.  It is less stessful for many reasons.  Also, visit the college before hand and build a great support system with the staff.  All colleges have a disability services department, but many colleges have programs like TRiO, which I work for, that have additional support.  These programs have advisors and tutors who act like a family and give the extra needed support on a more personal basis.  I have had more than 20 students with ASD the past few and they have been very successful at the college level.  Many have graduated and had a very positive experience on campus.

Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

From Ernst - To piggy back off of Nathan's comments, transitioning to college does need to be gradual. My students do fine with the academic requirements of college. Where they run into trouble is with the social and independent living requirements of going away to school. For us, some of the predictors of a successful transition include the ability to set an alarm clock and get up on their own, the ability to do laundry, and a history of sleep away experiences like summer camp. With that in mind NYIT created a 7 week summer bridge bridge program known as Introduction to Independence over 25 years ago. Check to see if your son's college has a summer bridge program. There are plenty of summer bridge programs around the country. Some are geared toward students with disabilities. Others are geared toward neurotypical students and are organized along a theme like marine biology or robotics. If you would like to learn more about our programs at NYIT, we are having an open house on April 6, 2013. Contact me if you would like learn more.

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

From Ian - Nathaniel, thank you for the functional recommendations. I too have found that people think of college as an all or nothing thing. It can be incremental, learning should be viewed as a lifelong process.

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

From Nathaniel - In order to be successful in college I found that individuals with autism need to be gradually transitioning to college. Too often in modern society there are too much abrupt changes which make it difficult for the person with autism. It may take longer for the person with autism to complete the degree but if it is done gradually it is most beneficial. Also I chose colleges close to home or online and found that it to be most helpful in completing my degree. Because of this I never lived in a dorm and only moved to an apartment during my senior year. I had the support from my family and college; it was a wonderful experience. Finally, I strongly suggest that the individuals with autism learn to become a self-advocate.

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

From Barbara - I would make sure that he knows where to go for assistance if he is having problems -- with bullying, organizing his schedule, etc. In the U.S., colleges and universities have disabilities services offices. Students are sometimes reluctant to ask for help, or do not know how. My advice would be that he makes contact with the appropriate college office.

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

From Dan - We at CIP offer a summer program specifically for high school sophomores and up with Asperger's and high functioning autism which is located on college campuses. It is a great opportunity to transition into a more independent setting with a good amount of structure. It covers just about everything but the academics and students work through the person-centered planning process to think ahead about where they may want to go in life - before they get started at a college. More info is here: www.cipsummer.com or feel free to ask!

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

From Enes - My son is AS as well and has Diabetes type 1 as well, he also has dylexia and dysgraphia. We live in Western Australia so it the schools are a bit different my suggestion if he wants to go will be great but let them know he has AS because where my son went to high school (Private) one they were able to help extra. He has struggled after leaving school because he doesn't want to look different. Not sure if this helps

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

From Kenneth - The Program our Oldest Son is now moving onto will allow him to Mainstream Back into his own path to Success as he sees it. The Secret to Parenting is to Guide The Process and allow no one to Enforce Rules and Regulations on your Children even when they are Adults. Let them enjoy Mainstream and enjoy life as they want.

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

From Nathaniel - As somebody on the spectrum, I strongly encourage everybody to go to college. I also graduated in the top 7% of my high school class and earned a Bachelors in Science and Masters in Science. I am currently going for my PhD in Public Health. It has not been easy but if you have goals and have passion then there is no reason for not earning college degrees. We also need more people on the spectrum in higher education and productive members of the community.

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — over 7 years ago

 From Dahlia - Try Marshall univ Uk . They have a specialized programme for ASD ppl

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