Originally Published in the Press Telegram
April 26, 2015
By Josh Dulaney
Smoothing the transition to college for those diagnosed with ASD will be a challenge for administrators, as those with autism struggle to find their footing in an environment that, to them, may seem complex, uncaring and extremely difficult to navigate.
“They have many more needs than the average student,” said Maggi Sanderson, director of admissions at the national office of College Internship Program, a comprehensive support agency that offers year-long residential programs, including a location in Long Beach. “Those needs may not be readily apparent to educators, to parents, to families who are sending their kids off to school, and they are not always apparent to the student himself.”
Challenges can range from learning how to cook and maintain proper hygiene, to remembering where they put their homework, Sanderson said. The lack of basic life skills can overwhelm many with ASD, and many don’t seek help because they don’t want to be singled out as having a disability, she said.
“The number of different kinds of issues that crop up for students are many, and academic support is not always all that students will need,” Sanderson said. “It runs the gamut . . . sometimes they’ll promise (support) and sometimes colleges don’t always deliver.”