Originally Published on the Boston Globe September 12, 2010 By Joanna Weiss
LIKE MOST college students, the kids at the College Internship Program have spent the last few weeks gearing up for classes, meeting roommates, readying for life away from home. But on this tiny campus in the Berkshires, they’ve been getting extra help.
For instance, they take courses in “executive functioning’’ — not business techniques, but the cognitive work of decision-making and self-control. In their classroom, posters offer tips for talking to acquaintances. “Smile and say ‘hello’ to initiate a dialogue. Ask them how they are to build rapport.’’
For people with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s disorder, this is hardly intuitive stuff. And if the number of autism diagnoses has risen dramatically, so too will the number of teenagers who reach this tentative place: ready to leave the cocoon, but not quite ready for the world.
The College Internship Program is a comprehensive transition program
for young adults on the Autism Spectrum and with Learning Differences. Our Mission is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults with Autism, ADHD, and other Learning Differences can build happy and productive lives.