When Your Older Teen with ASD is Anxious About Getting Ready for College

"It is time for my son [with ASD] to apply to some colleges. I can tell he is stressed about the application process and doesn’t want to think about it. Do you have any resources about helping an ASD teenager to apply to a college or any related suggestions? Currently I feel he is struggling about how to write the essay and meet the requirements. I know he has enough time to deal with the applications, but I want him to get started early. It would be greatly appreciated if you can share some resources or provide some suggestions."

Below are some suggestions and strategies to help your son with ASD to "gear-up" for the college life:

Helping Teens on the Autism Spectrum to Transition to College

Helping Your Teen on the Spectrum to Prepare for Adulthood

Succeeding in College with High-Functioning Autism 

Tips for Young People on the Autism Spectrum Who Are Considering Attending College 

Aspergers Teens and College

Post High-School Education for Teens on the Autism Spectrum 
College Depression in Aspergers and HFA Students: What Parents Need To Know

Dealing with the Emotional Transition to College


Two girls, one finished her masters program the other is graduating this spring. They each chose different ways of going to college. The kid who finished her masters started in community college as she was not very social, and therefore felt that there would be less pressure socially in a small community college. Even though she graduated top in her HS class, she also felt there would be less pressure to get top grades in CC. She then went on to 4 yr with all the 'required' courses done and a 4.0 GPA. 

Also you are guaranteed to be accepted to CC, which makes applying a done deal. The other kid applied to Ivy league school and 'difficult to get in' public colleges, as well as CC (always have a shoe in college!). She is much more social and had the grades to apply to these schools. She had no problem with facing the rigors of college life, and achieving high grades at the same time. Applications are pretty much standard fare, they look at grades, extra curriculum stuff, SAT, all that, (CC does not require the same as 4 yr colleges). 

The biggest difference is the essay you write. There you need to play up your good points, reason why you want to go to the college your applying to, what your plans are for the future and how 'their' college is the best place for you to succeed with your ambitions and future. YES let them know you have ASD! Don't start with that, but make sure they know how hard you worked to get to this point (whatever is appropriate to him). Make sure you read the essay instructions, they are not always the same! Colleges have quotas, including disabilities, and he might get ahead of another applicant because they want to fill a spot. MOST importantly, he needs to be comfortable with his decision which places to apply to, always apply to more than one college, and local CC, and make sure he goes to visit any college he applies to in order to feel the vibes. 

Look for colleges that have the major he wants to get into, or thinks he wants, and don't apply to anywhere that is way beyond his reach academically, it will be disappointing, and a waste of time and money to apply. Colleges list their requirements, grades, sat, etc. so check those stats first. GOOD LUCK, and best wishes for his success wherever he chooses to go!

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