Around 1/3 of Autistic high school students go onto college. Good news, right? How many graduate? Not many.
Learning can be a challenge for “our kids” on the Spectrum. They need supports from high school + more. Here are 5 tips and tricks to smooth out the ride to college academic and social success.
- Encourage adaptability.
- Establish structure and rules. Stick to them 100%.
- Take responsibility for daily tasks. Include the weekends.
- Own successes and failures. Not just what, but why too.
- Promote social and expressive communication supports.
- Encourage personal independence. Ask, not asked by others.
- Break large tasks down into smaller ones. Repeat.
- Use with increased stress and anxiety. Look for the first signs of trouble.
- Customize a schedule.
- Write an “ideal day.”
- Be patient and realistic.
- Build in physical and creative activities.
- Incorporate social development.
- Include teachable moments in lieu of punishments (meltdowns, outbursts).
- Make a homebase room/area.
- Enact social/friendship groups around “obsessions” (Best Buddies).
- “Autism-proof” academics.
- Use visual aids to support communication. Tech too.
- Minimize classroom stimuli. Don’t forget background noise like heat, air conditioning, lights.
- Provide very literal, specific instructions. Include frequent breaks before they’re needed.
Teachers and parents: Consider time passed and time remaining, predictability, and expectations.
Both yours and theirs.