Succeeding in College with Autism

During childhood, kids with autism receive multiple forms of therapy: occupational therapy, speech therapy, social skills therapy, etc. But what happens when the child reaches 18 and heads off to college? Many colleges have programs for students with learning and other disabilities, but very few have programs tailored for students with autism. Unfortunately, even though these students may have brilliant minds, they fall through the cracks due to their lack of social and organizational skills.

David Taylor, a junior at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music majoring in music engineering, is one example of a student who was not living to his full potential. Though he is extremely talented musically, and also exceeds in academics, he was struggling to make friends, asking professors for help, and staying organized and on top of his class work,

“For me, it’s been quite honestly a tough transition…it may have taken a bit more time that’s taken other students to fully get acclimated at the school. It’s been tough not letting set of issues lead to another.” [1]

Taylor admits that he should have accessed the services available, and that it could have bettered his college experience thus far. He is now enrolled in the school’s Independent Learning Initiative, and hopes his story will encourage other students like him to seek assistance.

Lucky for Taylor and other students like him, more and more colleges are learning how to help students with autism adapt to this new environment. Access Plus, a pilot program at the University of Miami- Nova Southeastern University, is among this list, hoping to provide support for these students with a peer mentor, study hall, weekly group counseling, and other components.

When children with autism are in grade school, they have an IEP (Individualized Education Program) to help them in their studies, but parents do not always realize that this ends once the child hits college. It is extremely important that parents assess their child’s strengths and weaknesses before sending them off, ensuring that they receive the proper assistance throughout their college career.



[1] “Miami Herald” Coping with autism at college. 01 Jul 2013. Web. <http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/01/3480467/coping-with-autism-at-college.html>

This entry was posted in Autism Advocacy, Autism America, Autism Awareness, Autism Education, Autism Treatment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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