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College Looks Different For Young Adults With Autism

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There is often an untold story underneath all the issues adults who are neurodiverse face and the obstacles they handle daily. I am constantly motivated to learn more about individuals on the Autism spectrum. Individuals with Autism come from all walks of life and different backgrounds. I am intrigued by their thoughts, opinions, and honesty on the Autism Spectrum.

My daughter Taylor is 22 years old. She has a dual diagnosis of Autism and deafness. Every day she teaches me something new. Despite having diverse abilities, she is always patient and willing to learn something new.

When my daughter's teacher looked at her and unapologetically declared that she had Autism, I was amazed. Not just by her boldness and the honesty in her New York accent but that someone finally saw what I suspected the entire time. It was an honest assessment of what now my everyday reality. Not just my existence, but hers as well. It is one of the things that makes her unique and something we all learn from every day.

As we transition out of the school system, I am considering more and more enrolling her into college.

Not all children with Autism will attend college successfully, but not all typical children will either. Our special needs children must find their way, and it is up to us to make the options available.

One resource that has helped me evaluate my decision is the Autism Goes to College Podcast. The film screening was terrific but listening to the recent episodes has been life-changing for me. The podcast just launched featuring first the students in the film who were academically capable of enrolling at universities. They allow me to listen to the perspective of young adults with Autism. After my special needs daughter completed a Hackathon over the weekend, I knew she could exceed my expectations.

After listening to the unique and inspiring stories of other young adults who attend college with their neurodiverse backgrounds, I am inspired to help my daughter apply for college. Perhaps this time next year, I will celebrate her graduation and subsequent admission to a university setting that suits her need.

But one thing is for sure.

The one sure way to fail is never to try at all.

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