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College Programs for Students With Autism

by Amy Pearson, studioD

Hundreds of colleges and universities have extensive programs designed to help students with autism make the transition to college and then adjust to the social and academic aspects of college life. According to an article by Research Associate Anne Reamer, “Transition to College,” on the website for Learning Disabilities Association of America, the programs available offer many services designed to help a college student with autism become comfortable in the college learning environment.

Programs to Help With the Transition

Many colleges and universities offer programs to help students with autism successfully make the transition to college life. Rutgers University’s College Support Program helps students with autism adjust to college life by providing counseling, workshops and ongoing support. Some students may need to meet with mentors weekly or more often to develop strategies to help them transition to college.

Socialization Programs

College students with autism may struggle with social aspects of college life and may need to rely on socialization programs offered by many universities. The Autism Inclusion Program at University of West Florida provides college students with autism support to improve their social skills through campus events, community activities, relationship management and interpersonal communication skills training.

Academic Programs

As Elizabeth Held reported in an article published USA Today’s website, students with autism often need assistance to learn to schedule a day in college and prioritize assignments. University disability support offices offer programs on campus to provide accommodations for students needing specialized help, including those with autism. In addition, students can often use technology to help them learn better, such as tape recorders to record lectures. These programs allow students with autism to take exams in a quiet location or take extra time to complete work, depending on individual needs.

Housing Programs

College students with autism often have access to housing options to help them adjust to college living environments. Some programs allow students with disabilities to move in early and may allow students with autism to live in a single room if they would prefer not to have a roommate.

About the Author

Amy Pearson earned dual bachelor's degrees in management and horticulture. She is a licensed elementary teacher for kindergarten through sixth grades. Pearson specializes in flower and vegetable gardening, landscape design, education, early childhood and child development.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images