Many individuals on the spectrum are able to continue their education by attending college or trade schools. This also provides an opportunity 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 or her strengths. Also, it is important to prepare your young adult to navigate the daily demands of college life. If your family member is not ready to independently function in the postsecondary world, there are programs available to support them in this transition. For information on one such program, read the following article from the Autism Advocate Fourth Edition 2009.
If your loved one has decided to pursue post-secondary education and training prior to employment, consider these suggestions:
- Identify post-secondary institutions (colleges, vocational programs in the community, trade schools, etc.) that offer training in career of interest. Write or call for catalogues, financial aid information, and application. 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 and take any special tests (e.g., PSAT, SAT, NMSQT) necessary for entry into post-secondary institutions of interest.
- In 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.
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