Aspergers College Recommendations (Before You Go)
It’s a bit overwhelming to prepare for life after high school. And if you have Aspergers, it’s important that you find colleges that understand Aspergers and will help you work with your strengths as well as your weaknesses.
I’m grateful to the high caliber professionals in one of my LinkedIn groups for their recommendations and resources to help people with Asperger’s prepare for college. Here are some aspergers college recommendations to considerbefore you pick one.
In my post next week, I’m going to mention specific colleges that seem to do a good job understanding and supporting students on the autism spectrum.
But this week, I thought I would share some programs that prepare students for the transition from high school to college. Unfortunately, most of these pre-college programs are in the United States.
If you are reading this from Australia, the UK, or any other part of the world, I welcome your input of other pre-college preparatory programs for individuals on the autism spectrum in your country.
Do Your Research
Think College was suggested as a place to begin. My only reservation is their tagline, College Options for People with Intellectual Disabilities. I don’t consider Asperger’s an intellectual disability. However, if you can get past that line, realize that colleges accommodating intellectual disabilities will most likely also be educated about and supportive of students with Aspergers.
Read Some Books
I’m listing the following reading directly from members in my LinkedIn group, along with their feedback:
Thierfeld Brown, Wolf, King and Bork have a new book out called The Parent’s Guide to College for Students on the Autism Spectrum. They do not list specific colleges but do have a great chapter titled How to Find the Right College with an extensive form for rating various colleges.
The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD is a summary of 300 colleges and their disability programs, which does include programs for students on the Autism Spectrum, though it is not in the title.
Students with Asperger Syndrome: A Guide for College Personnel, by Drs. Lorraine Wolf ( at Boston University) and Jane Thierfeld Brown (at Univ. of Connecticut Law School), though not about specific colleges, give guidelines you can use to judge the appropriateness of a school, the skills a student with Asperger’s needs to succeed, and specific strategies for school personnel to use. I intend to give it to the staff of the school my daughter attends (she’s a junior this year.)
Comprehensive Transition and Post-Secondary Program (CTP)
You may want to consider a Comprehensive Transition and Post-secondary (CTP) program, which seems to be a program that runs alongside regular college life at different colleges.
Here’s an explanation from the U.S. Department of Education
The Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) provides grants to institutions of higher education or consortia of institutions of higher education to enable them to create or expand high quality, inclusive model comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities.
Here is a list of colleges that have CTPs approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
“Stepping Stone” Programs To College for People With Aspergers
Here are a couple interesting programs to prepare individuals on the autism spectrum for college.
College Internship Program
The College Internship Program looks similar to the Comprehensive Transition and Post-Secondary program as listed above. This is a program that prepares students for college life. The average length of the program is a minimum of 1 year and no longer than 2 years.
You’ll want to go to their website to get more information. Here’s a link to some of their frequently asked questions.
Locations for the program include Amherst, New York; Long Beach, California; Berkeley, California; Lee, Massachusetts; Melbourne, Florida; and Bloomington, Indiana.
College Living Experience
Here’s a quote directly from their site:
College Living Experience (CLE) is a post-secondary program for students who require additional support with academic, social and independent living skills. CLE provides intensive assistance to students with varying abilities. Students with autism, Asperger’s, learning disabilities, developmental delays and a host of other special needs receive the support they need to pursue post-secondary education and become independent adults.
And here’s a quote from a parent in my LinkedIn group:
photo credit: SMBCollege
I have a 18yo son at CLE in Monterey. It is actually a year-round program that supports students who are going to a local college or vocational training program. At our CLE, the students live in their own apartments with roommates, cook meals for themselves, and take the bus to school. Most of them take kind of a light class load, because they have a lot of CLE sessions to attend too. But I do see it as a real college program. Here in California, it is vendored to the Regional Center system, so since our son is a client of the regional center, we don’t have to pay for it. We do pay his rent and tuition/books. I also highly recommend it.
Thanks for reading! This is a living document. I’ll edit this post and add as many quality programs as you suggest to me. If you know of quality, affordable preparation programs for students with Aspergers in your particular area, please let me know so I can add it to this list.
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Developing College Skills in Students with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome