Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) may have a goal of pursuing postsecondary education. It is important to find a good match for your strengths, interests and any support that you may need when choosing a two or four year college or technical career program.
Some of the key points to consider when choosing a college are:
- Finding out what types of colleges are a match for your interests and skills. Talk with your guidance counselor while you are still in high school about your options
- Visiting the campuses of colleges that you are considering.
- Determining if you will need support while you are attending college, and finding out about the disabilities support office and what they can offer to help you
- Deciding whether to disclose your disability when applying to the college
- Deciding what size of college you would feel the most comfortable in attending
- Finding out what arrangements are available for living on campus or off campus
The transition to a postsecondary education setting means having more responsibility than than you did in high school. Students with autism often face challenges in college with learning how to act in classes, how to manage their course load and how to manage social relationships that are unique to the college experience. Students need to get as much information as possible ahead of time about their new responsibilities and the new settings.
For resources to help you plan for going to college, see Going to College and the MOAHEAD Guidebook.
If a student is attending a technical college, they are obtaining an education for a career in a more specific occupation. In Missouri, career education is delivered while still in high school or after high school through career centers, community two-year colleges or in some four-year colleges. Career clusters are a way to organize a program of study for students and curricula for schools that will prepare students for specific careers. Another tool for Missouri students and their parents to help determine career interests, explore occupations, develop a plan and create a resume or portfolio is Missouri Connections.