In high school, your teen on the autism spectrum (AS) may have had a number of different supports, services and accommodations. If he had an IEP or Section 504, these services were mandated and the school was held responsible for following through on both recognizing your child’s individual needs and creating an educational plan each year.
In college, however, things are different. Students with AS must provide the proper documentation to the college to show a disability - and each college may require different documentation; there is no standard paperwork to complete. It is also up to the student to request specific accommodations, such as extended time for tests, and show the need for each. Usually this is done through the disability services office, but not all colleges have such an office. And sometimes students with AS need accommodations outside of the classroom. They may need help with socialization or organization, things that may not be covered under disability services.
There are a number of colleges that offer services for those on the spectrum above and beyond those provided under disability services. There may be an additional fee for these types of services, but for those with ASD, the extra cost might be a good investment.
Some of the colleges that have specific programs for ASD:
Adelphi University - Garden City, N.Y. - Bridges to Adelphi Program - This program prodes help with organizational skills, time management, independent living skills and social skills training. It is for students with ASD, social anxiety disorder and nonverbal learning disabilities. The cost is in of $2,500.00 per semester is in addition to tuition and fees.
Bellevue College - Washington State - Autism Spectrum Navigators- This program is free for students attending Bellevue College (a 2 credit class must be taken each semester and you need to pay for those credits). The program, according to their facebook page, “helps students discover their personal strengths and find ways to support their areas of difficulty...The program is designed to increase accessibility to areas of college life and beyond, including academics, working with others, socializing and being in the community.”
Eastern Michigan University - Michigan - Autism Collaborative Center - Available for students attending Eastern Michigan University or Washtenaw Community College. Program provides individualized support while attending college. Based on services, this program can cost anywhere from $4,500 to $8,500 per semester.
Eastern University - St. Davids, PA. - The College Success Program for Students Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder - Provides help with academics, social and life skills and cultural supports for undergraduate students. Cost is $6,500 per semester.
Fairleigh Dickinson University - Madison, NJ,- COMPASS Program - Available for 1st and 2nd year students at Fairleigh Dickinson University with Asperger’s syndrome. The program is limited to 6 students in each class and works to promote independence while giving academic and social support. The cost is $3,000 per semester.