Jane Thierfeld Brown, EdD, Lorraine E. Wolf, PhD, Lisa King, MsEd and G. Ruth Kukiela Bork, MEd
Foreword by Temple Grandin
Sending a son or daughter off to college is daunting and fear-provoking experience for most parents, but if your child has an autism spectrum disorder, the challenge is magnified many times over. Even high-functioning students with excellent academic preparation face difficulties in higher education, primarily related to communication, social skills, and sensory-based issues. For many, the accommodations and special interventions that supported them in high school will no longer be available on a college campus.
This parent-friendly book, made especially so because it is written by parents, who also are autism professionals, takes the fear and mystery out of the college experience. Learn how to select the right campus, how to work with Disability Services staff, what legal protections apply, how to prepare your son or daughter to be an effective self-advocate on campus, what assistance can be reasonably be expected from residence hall managers, faculty, and much, much more.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
“Parents need to teach their kids basic skills like shopping, ordering food in restaurants, doing laundry, being on time, personal hygiene, and waking themselves up. These skills should be taught long before the child goes to college. They are part of growing up and necessary for succeeding in college. Still, the biggest obstacle for most autistic students is learning to do well in social situations. For example, I had to learn that it was O.K. to cry if I was frustrated on the job rather than lashing out physically. A high-tech company will not fire you for crying, but they will if you throw things or hit others. The authors of this book present clear strategies for families and students with autism to use starting as early as in middle school and going up to college graduation and on to employment. Hard work, the ability to work with others, and clear expectations will get young people where they want to be.”
– Temple Grandin, PhD, author of Thinking in Pictures and The Way I See It
“For parents whose adolescent with autism spectrum disorders is considering college, this practical book is an invaluable guide to evaluating college readiness, strengthening key skills, identifying the right match, ensuring the smoothest possible transition, and creating a safety net to maximize the chances of a successful college experience. The authors’ sage advice and strategies come from years of personal and professional experience. This is THE book our staff recommend to families and educators!”
– Dania Jekel, MSW, executive director, Asperger’s Association of New England
“This book is a true gift to the ASD community. The authors have combined their extensive knowledge and personal experiences to offer a road map to anyone supporting a college-bound student with ASD. The information is clear, ordered, and honest. Charts, tables, and scenarios illustrate possible challenges a student might encounter on campus and serve as checklists along the way. I recommend this book to parents, special education teachers, high school guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, and the students themselves.”
– Kari Dunn Buron, MS, autism education specialist, educator and author of The Incredible 5-Point Scale (co-author), A 5 Is Against the Law, and Learners on the Autism Spectrum: Preparing Highly Qualified Educators (co-editor)
“From explaining the practical matters of how the educational laws change between high school and college, how student services are structured in higher education, potential academic challenges and to what level they will be assisted, exploring social behavioral responses expected on campus to caring for one’s mental health, this book has it all. The information is presented in a user-friendly format with many practical suggestions. It also helps families consider if college is the best place for the student to begin his or her experience living as an adult; as students biologically age into adulthood, not all of them are ready for the level of independence required to succeed as university students, even if they are considered ‘bright.'”
– Michelle Garcia Winner, founder of Social Thinking®, speech-language pathologist, and specialist for persons with social learning challenges
“Perfectly targeted at the nexus of parents supporting individuals with autism heading towards higher education and professionals within the field, this state-of-the art resource is packed with easy-to-implement, practical solutions for promoting success for individuals with autism applying to, remaining in, and transitioning out of college. A resource that will be helpful in educating my students for supporting persons with autism through the college experience, this is a book I wish my parents had as they were guiding me through higher education.”
– Stephen M. Shore, EdD, assistant professor of special education, Adelphi University; internationally known author, consultant, and presenter on issues related to the autism spectrum. Individual on the autism spectrum
About the Authors
Lorraine Wolf, Ph.D. is director of Disability Services at Boston University, where she also holds faculty appointments in psychiatry and rehabilitation sciences. With over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders,Dr.Wolf has published and presented extensively on issues related to students with attention and learning disorders, psychiatric disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D. is director of Student Services at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She has worked in Disability Services for 27 years. She consults at many higher education institutions and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences on Asperger Syndrome.
Lisa King, MsEd is Co-director of Higher Education and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Inc. As a Disability Specialist in higher education she has worked extensively with students with Aspergers and Autism Spectrum Disorders for over 20 years. She is a frequent presenter and trainer, locally and nationally on topics related to best practices for working with students on the spectrum in higher education settings.
G.Ruth Kukiela Bork, M.Ed., is dean and director of the Disability Resource Center, Northeastern University. Dean Bork’s professional involvement in disability affairs and advocacy spans 34 years.She is a founding member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). Dean Bork has written and spoken on a wide range of disability-related topics.