Self-advocacy is key for young adults on the spectrum to succeed at the college level
via Autism File, April-May 2016
by Hannah Enenbach, MA
CIP Long Beach
Making the transition from high school to college is often dramatic—and in some cases, traumatic—for graduating students. Suddenly, they are expected to motivate themselves to attend class, study on their own time, and pace themselves in preparation for longer-term assignments or cumulative exams. For students on the autism spectrum who require disability accommodations from their new colleges or universities, the difficulties multiply.
The shift of the responsibility of initiative from the parent and school to the student is one of the most challenging aspects of moving into the world of higher learning. This shift is an even bigger adjustment than most take it to be, requiring not only a good handle on a handful of executive functioning skills, but also strong motivation and the ability to self-advocate. Comprehensive transitional supports when starting postsecondary education are essential in increasing the probability of being successful.