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Autism, 2.06 (V) What Happens After High School?

In this lesson, we will discuss the transition to adulthood by looking at some of the data on outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, after they age out of education and move on to secondary education and work. And we will discuss the challenges that young adults face during this transitional period. So what happens when an individual with an Autism Spectrum Disorder leaves public education, either at age 18, or when they receive a diploma, or at age 22, when they age out of special education supports and services? Unfortunately at this point the statistics aren't very good. Only about 15 to 20% of adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder live independently and work without supports. And this s regardless of their cognitive functioning level. Many experience what's called mal-employment, which means working in a job that's far below their skill level. We do see that around 44% of young adults with an autism spectrum disorder do participate in some type of post-secondary education. Whether it be community college, university or trader technical school. A high percentage of individuals with autism that attend college gravitate towards the STEM majors of science, technology, engineering, or math. They're more likely than the general population to choose science and computer science majors. For those students on the autism spectrum who chose to and are able to access college, there are many challenges that they face. Many require academic accommodations including accommodations for test taking and for writing. In order to access the accommodations that they need, they have to have a level of self awareness and self advocacy. The ability to self-disclose and access the supports needed is a skill that many entering college don't have or have not had an opportunity to practice prior to leaving K-12 education system. Self-disclosure and self-advocacy are critical skills required to be able to access the student disability service centers at local colleges and universities. Therefore, these skills should be practiced during the high school years prior to leaving the safety of public education. College students with autism also report challenges and difficulties in social and relationship skills. Organization and time management, as well as regulating their emotions and stress, are also a paramount issue for college age students with autism. In the following video segment, you will meet Katie. A high school graduate, who will describe both her high school experiences, as well as her experiences at her local community college. » What did you like about high school? » I didn't like too much, I don't have very much that I really liked about it. It wasn't my favorite, but I did like some of the teachers and the kids, and just being able to have this interaction, it was really nice. But- » Yeah. » I didn't really have many friends, but I had those people to talk to. I had one pretty good friend, but that was pretty much it. » Okay. When you think back to high school, and think about what helped you to be a student and to kinda get through those four years of high school. What were some things that helped? » My teachers were definitely really helpful. I was never in school full-time. I was doing part-time homeschool for pretty much all my first two years. Then the last two, I just took a class or two separate from regular school. But my teachers were helpful and they helped me get a lot of my work done, and some of the other students help me too. My junior year I had a student aid in my English class, cuz it was a really hard class. » What kinds of things did that student aid do that you felt really were helpful? » Pretty much just a note taker because I can't take notes and listen to it at the same time- » Oh, okay. » I have to have a note taker. » Okay. Do you remember any of the other accommodations that were provided for you aside from someone taking notes? » In high school that was just one class. So most of high school, it wasn't too hard. It was mostly on my own. I did a lot. My classes were a little easier. I didn't take all the harder ones. The school work wasn't really a problem. » All right. Let's see. Do you think that high school prepared you for your life as an adult? » Socially, definitely, because a lot of the social skills that you're learning That year when you go out of highschool when you have to learn in highschool. But it wasn't always easiest because people outside of highschool are honestly a lot nicer than people in highschool. I mean there's always nice people anywhere you are, but there's always rotten people everywhere you go. But people are just generally so much nicer when you're out of highschool especially in college. Within a junior college especially because most of the students there either are my age, or they're adults, or they're married and have kids. Some are even grandparents. » But maybe a little bit more mature. » Yeah. » And not a lot of that social stuff that goes on in high school goes on in college. » I'm sure it does in some places in college, but. Generally for me, I've gone out with people who were a lot nicer and a lot better out of high school than they were in high school, but. » Do you have friends that are around the area that you hang out with? » I have friends, but most of them are still in high school, or they're older than me and have moved out. But that's why Facebook is really convenient. I talk to them on Facebook and on Skype, and I get to see them every once in a while, but it's not what I'd like. But it's better than not seeing them at all, so. » So, you keep in touch with a lot of people that you've known through Facebook. » Most of my friends I've known for a pretty long amount of time. » Well, because you did have some experience as a college student, if you had some words of advice for college teachers or college professors, about how to be a good teacher for someone who's affected by autism or Asperger's Person. What would you say to them? » I would told them that a lot of people with autism work better by seeing things on a board than they do by hearing things. Because sometimes when you have autism you don't have as big of an attention span as someone your age should. And so sometimes you kinda drift off and you're not always paying attention. So it would help. To have all they know. Definitely have announcements on the board and have things to write down. But if you can, try to get them a copy of the PowerPoint. So they keep the notes right there and they won't have to, sometimes it helps to have things written down, like if you have a print out of what they are going over in class, or like a hand out that would be really helpful. So then you're not always just wondering what are they talking about. » Okay good. » That would have really helped me. » Have you ever taken any classes online. » No, I haven't » I wonder if that might be more of a match for your learning style? » Yeah, I would definitely recommend that, cuz then you can kind of do it on your own time. And you're not distracted by all the people in the classroom, cuz sometimes they just get really distracting. » Yeah. » So.



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In this lesson, we will discuss the transition to adulthood by looking at some of the data on outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, after they age out of education and move on to secondary education and work. And we will discuss the challenges that young adults face during this transitional period. So what happens when an individual with an Autism Spectrum Disorder leaves public education, either at age 18, or when they receive a diploma, or at age 22, when they age out of special education supports and services? Unfortunately at this point the statistics aren't very good. Only about 15 to 20% of adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder live independently and work without supports. And this s regardless of their cognitive functioning level. Many experience what's called mal-employment, which means working in a job that's far below their skill level. We do see that around 44% of young adults with an autism spectrum disorder do participate in some type of post-secondary education. Whether it be community college, university or trader technical school. A high percentage of individuals with autism that attend college gravitate towards the STEM majors of science, technology, engineering, or math. They're more likely than the general population to choose science and computer science majors. For those students on the autism spectrum who chose to and are able to access college, there are many challenges that they face. Many require academic accommodations including accommodations for test taking and for writing. In order to access the accommodations that they need, they have to have a level of self awareness and self advocacy. The ability to self-disclose and access the supports needed is a skill that many entering college don't have or have not had an opportunity to practice prior to leaving K-12 education system. Self-disclosure and self-advocacy are critical skills required to be able to access the student disability service centers at local colleges and universities. Therefore, these skills should be practiced during the high school years prior to leaving the safety of public education. College students with autism also report challenges and difficulties in social and relationship skills. Organization and time management, as well as regulating their emotions and stress, are also a paramount issue for college age students with autism. In the following video segment, you will meet Katie. A high school graduate, who will describe both her high school experiences, as well as her experiences at her local community college. » What did you like about high school? » I didn't like too much, I don't have very much that I really liked about it. It wasn't my favorite, but I did like some of the teachers and the kids, and just being able to have this interaction, it was really nice. But- » Yeah. » I didn't really have many friends, but I had those people to talk to. I had one pretty good friend, but that was pretty much it. » Okay. When you think back to high school, and think about what helped you to be a student and to kinda get through those four years of high school. What were some things that helped? » My teachers were definitely really helpful. I was never in school full-time. I was doing part-time homeschool for pretty much all my first two years. Then the last two, I just took a class or two separate from regular school. But my teachers were helpful and they helped me get a lot of my work done, and some of the other students help me too. My junior year I had a student aid in my English class, cuz it was a really hard class. » What kinds of things did that student aid do that you felt really were helpful? » Pretty much just a note taker because I can't take notes and listen to it at the same time- » Oh, okay. » I have to have a note taker. » Okay. Do you remember any of the other accommodations that were provided for you aside from someone taking notes? » In high school that was just one class. So most of high school, it wasn't too hard. It was mostly on my own. I did a lot. My classes were a little easier. I didn't take all the harder ones. The school work wasn't really a problem. » All right. Let's see. Do you think that high school prepared you for your life as an adult? » Socially, definitely, because a lot of the social skills that you're learning That year when you go out of highschool when you have to learn in highschool. But it wasn't always easiest because people outside of highschool are honestly a lot nicer than people in highschool. I mean there's always nice people anywhere you are, but there's always rotten people everywhere you go. But people are just generally so much nicer when you're out of highschool especially in college. Within a junior college especially because most of the students there either are my age, or they're adults, or they're married and have kids. Some are even grandparents. » But maybe a little bit more mature. » Yeah. » And not a lot of that social stuff that goes on in high school goes on in college. » I'm sure it does in some places in college, but. Generally for me, I've gone out with people who were a lot nicer and a lot better out of high school than they were in high school, but. » Do you have friends that are around the area that you hang out with? » I have friends, but most of them are still in high school, or they're older than me and have moved out. But that's why Facebook is really convenient. I talk to them on Facebook and on Skype, and I get to see them every once in a while, but it's not what I'd like. But it's better than not seeing them at all, so. » So, you keep in touch with a lot of people that you've known through Facebook. » Most of my friends I've known for a pretty long amount of time. » Well, because you did have some experience as a college student, if you had some words of advice for college teachers or college professors, about how to be a good teacher for someone who's affected by autism or Asperger's Person. What would you say to them? » I would told them that a lot of people with autism work better by seeing things on a board than they do by hearing things. Because sometimes when you have autism you don't have as big of an attention span as someone your age should. And so sometimes you kinda drift off and you're not always paying attention. So it would help. To have all they know. Definitely have announcements on the board and have things to write down. But if you can, try to get them a copy of the PowerPoint. So they keep the notes right there and they won't have to, sometimes it helps to have things written down, like if you have a print out of what they are going over in class, or like a hand out that would be really helpful. So then you're not always just wondering what are they talking about. » Okay good. » That would have really helped me. » Have you ever taken any classes online. » No, I haven't » I wonder if that might be more of a match for your learning style? » Yeah, I would definitely recommend that, cuz then you can kind of do it on your own time. And you're not distracted by all the people in the classroom, cuz sometimes they just get really distracting. » Yeah. » So.


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