Many individuals on the spectrum are able to continue their education by attending college or trade schools. This also provides opportunities to further social interaction, particularly in areas where the individual has key interests.
Work with your young adult in selecting classes that take advantage of his/her strengths. It is also important to prepare your young adult to navigate the daily demands of college life. If he/she is not ready to function independently in the post-secondary world, there are programs available to support him/her in the transition. For information on one such program, read this article from the Autism Advocate.
If your loved one has decided to pursue post-secondary education or training prior to employment, consider these suggestions:
- Identify post-secondary institutions (colleges, vocational programs in the community, trade schools, etc.) that offer training in the individual’s career of interest. Write or call for catalogs, financial aid information, and application materials. Visit the institution.
- Identify what accommodations would be helpful to address the individual’s special needs. Find out if the educational institution makes, or can make, these accommodations.
- Identify any admissions tests (e.g. PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, ACT) necessary for entry into post-secondary institutions of interest.
- If this is the individual’s last year of secondary school, contact the department of Vocational Rehabilitation in your state and/or the Social Security Administration to determine eligibility for services or benefits.