If you are like many parents whose autistic child has decided to join college, you might be filled with anxiety and lots of questions. You might wonder what college has in store for them and wonder if they will find enough accommodations once class starts. There are all valid questions because every parent wants the best for their children. The best thing you can do as a parent is to ensure their college experience is great, and for this, you need to prepare them for the new experience.
Discuss Their Courses
Many autistic people want to know what to expect so they can prepare in advance. Doing so helps stop them from becoming overwhelmed which can make experiences worse for them. To avoid this, get a list of all the courses they will be taking and discuss it with them. If you do not have enough information about specific subjects and courses, there are lots of online resources that can help with the research.
College is more challenging than high school, but having these preparations and discussions in place will make the transition easier.
Set Reminders and Set Schedules
You should also prepare a list of extracurricular activities, appointments, activities, and everything else your child will be engaged in. Having the schedule will help them know what is coming so they can make the necessary adjustments.
It will also help prevent them from disengaging which can cause them to pull away or stop taking care of themselves. Having the schedule and a reminder of everyday tasks such as brushing their teeth and when to get to bed will help your child when college life starts getting hectic.
Get Them a Phone or Laptop
Phones and laptops are great time management tools because of their calendar functions. A smartphone is more versatile because they will have it on them all the time, and it will help remind them of their class schedules if they get distracted.
The same strategy can be used with a laptop which can help them track their deadlines and remind them when they are falling behind. You can choose from one of the many student discount laptops available if you are worried about cost. Then, show them how to set reminders for when to start researching or writing a paper, completing a project, or handing in their work.
Talk About Living with a Roommate
Most students who live on campus have a roommate. If your child will be living on campus, it is important to talk to them about having and living with a roommate. Talk to them about personal boundaries and making friends. It is also important to reassure them that it is OK to feel uncomfortable when living with someone else and to reach out if they feel overwhelmed.
You shouldn’t pressure your child to live on campus if they do not want to. Doing so is a huge step, and it is OK to get them a single room and then let them take steps like these on their own.
These tips should give you some insight into how to prepare your autistic child to make the transition from high school to college. It is also a good idea to talk to autistic individuals to find additional ways to help your child.
. This is a contributed post. ☺