Autistic people may struggle in primary and secondary school, but third level offers more unique opportunities. Given the intense and specific interests many autistic people have, studying their chosen subject can be a dream come true. However, progressing to third level is not without challenges of its own.
The routine and predictability autistic students are used to can’t be depended upon in third level. College can be an enormous change, especially if you’re moving away from home. Moving to college usually means uprooting yourselves from networks of friends, teachers and neighbors. Even if you’re still living at home there’s a chance your friends will be moving out themselves. As you change on an educational and social level, so do your needs.
The preparation to transition out of secondary school needs to happen much sooner and much more intensely for autistic students. The struggles of secondary schools and state exams may present challenges in securing a course place where the student can best utilize their talents and their support needs are met best. Multiple pathways should be considered, such as government schemes or post leaving cert courses (PLCs).
To outline these challenges and the strategies to overcome them, check our resources below.
How do I support my autistic child as they transition from school to college? Big changes are worth considering carefully in the context of autism,