Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I just finished registering for classes at the local college and thought it would be a great time to write about college and Asperger's Syndrome/Autism.
For people uncomfortable with regular classes, many colleges now offer online courses; it is even possible to complete an entire degree online. Personally, I am taking college classes in person because I find not getting distracted while on the computer a bit tough! However, if the social anxiety is bad, it may be a good idea for a student with Asperger's/Autism.
Interesting enough, a nickname for Asperger's is "little professor syndrome" and CBS even had an article about college professors with Asperger's/Autism! So the idea of people on the spectrum at college is not at all strange, students can succeed with the right support.
One very helpful thing is for ASD students to get a chance to explore the campus before classes and have copies of a map. It helps with anxiety to already know where you're going without crowds and the pressure of getting to class on time. I'm already familar with the campus so that's one worry I don't have.
A good idea before picking a college would be to scope out whether they have disability services for students with Asperger's/Autism. Even if the student ends up not having many needs, it is important to have somebody to go to if needs arise.
Organization can be a huge problem for students on the spectrum. So, a wise investment is a planner for assignments and scheduling study time. College classes don't have a resource teacher asking "are you working on your project due X?" so it is important to write several reminders and break it down into steps. Perhaps even scheduling alerts in a phone would help.
Although it's too late to apply this year, there is a scholarship specifically for those with Asperger's/Autism:
Other useful links:
Asperger's at College
Sending Your Child with Autism to College
College and the Autistic Student