People with autism deal with social challenges that we can’t even imagine! Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that they’re incapable of getting an education and live a happy, fulfilling lifestyle. Parents of autistic kids should make plans for college ahead of time. It’s very important that you build self-advocacy and support your child in the areas of interest he likes the most. Autism manifests in different ways from individual to individual. Some might develop a creative spirit and love arts and crafts; others might grow up with a particular interest in everything that’s logical.
College preparation – insights and guidelines
It all starts with careful planning and support. Set goals and be there for your child every step of the way. In some circumstances you can integrate your child in a normal environment: community college or conventional schooling institutions. But that doesn’t apply to kids with advanced ASD who need extra care and can only fit in institutions that provide extra support and are experienced at handling students with autism.
Students with ASD may lack social competencies. This could prevent them from attaining academic success. However, the sooner the parents get involved in their schooling process and prepare them for college ahead of time, the better chances the student has to get pass that barrier, and develop solid academic capabilities.
Parents should be aware that understanding professors and peers can pose another challenge. Autism is a very difficult condition that compels sufferers to say what they think out loud, regardless of the circumstances. Oftentimes, autistic kids are perceived as being rude or disrespectful, but they don’t do it on purpose.
Use your own experience in school as training for your child
Parents should get more involved in their child’s schooling. Help them whenever you see that they can’t manage on their own. Give them space to learn independently, and be there for them if they need assistance. Encourage your child to make friends, participate in extracurricular activities, and build relationships. The latter is extremely important because if helps the child understand the importance of social bonding.
Teaching autistic students about being independent
Spend time with your child teaching them as much as possible about growing up and doing things on their own. This includes shopping for groceries, cooking meals, doing the laundry, and more. This especially applies to students living on campuses. For example, you could encourage them to go on trips with peers, engage in social activities, and brainstorm projects. Check to see how they react, and be understanding. Also, be prepared as they might not succeed from the first attempt.
Help your child develop social skills with volunteering
Volunteering is a great way to develop social skills. Advice your autistic child to engage in such activities in their free time, It will help them make friends in college as well as build strong relationship with teachers and peers. Preparation matters because ADS is a challenging condition that needs special attention. Be patient and examine your child’s behavior, and consider including vitamins and minerals into their diet; assess the response and allow them to choose activities that engaged them.
Put technology to good use
There are all kinds of devices and gadgets these days that are meant to help autistic kids integrate in society. From apps and e-books, all the way to games and online tutorials, it’s definitely a good idea to use technology to ease and improve their lifestyles.
After you’ve made the decision to prepare your autistic child for college, you should check schools that provide support. There are institutions that offer a lot of support, both financial and moral. Search for colleges with good therapists and psychologists, so that your child can seek help each time he needs it.
Preparing teens with autistic spectrum disorder for college is challenging, but at the same time, it can be rewarding. Look for colleges with curriculums that interest your child, whether in the creative or logical domains. Allow them to choose and they’ll be able to integrate a lot easier. Try not to force them to attend an institution they don’t want to go to, and spend time discussing areas of interest. It will help you understand what they like and what they don’t.