The stage is set. You successfully started college, ready to learn. Your teacher passes out the syllabus which states that you will have four tests and one paper. As the weeks go by, you realize there are assignments that were not mentioned in the syllabus. In addition, you are unsure what will be on the test or when the test will be. Your teacher suggests that you study the chapter, but what does that mean? You read some of the chapter, but after a half an hour you’re starting to doze off and you can’t remember what you just read. In class you try to follow the professor’s lecture, but you can’t seem to remember everything said. Even with the PowerPoint, you find yourself spacing out and missing all the information. You try to take notes but it is impossible to hear it, process it, reword it and write it back down. You try your best and maybe pass the class but ultimately come to the conclusion that your professor can’t teach!
As academic coordinators at The College Internship Program, we have witnessed the challenges college students experience every day. We coach the students on social and executive functions in the academic environment and we teach them academic skills. We’ve observed that once they are in college, they are expected to know how to extract information and how to infer missing information, based on the well-intending professor’s instructions. These skills are challenging for all students, but even more so for those with ASD.