One of my favorite therapy topics is transitions: transitioning between academic levels, transitioning from academics to jobs, moving out, forming relationships. All of these are expected, healthy transitions, and can also be stressful. Happily, we can learn from those who have already sorted out how to transition, and can offer advice regarding surviving and thriving in college.
Hot tip number 1: Pull from your personal strengths!! If you are human, you have already successfully transitioned a number of times, including wearing new clothing as you grew, moving from the back seat of the car to the front seat, being fed to feeding yourself. You can use your preferences and strengths regarding transitions to face these new transitions of surviving and thriving in college.
Hot tip number 2: Determine how best to advocate for yourself. You already advocate for yourself in your personal space: when you go to bed, what you eat, etc. Take note of what you want and need currently, and be prepared to ask for those things when you head to college. If someone currently advocates for you, either start to take on that role, or prepare that person to advocate for you at the college level, knowing that the rules of K12 education and advocacy are very different than college rules. (Parents don’t have the opportunity to engage at the college level nearly as much as at the K12 level!)
On that note: check out this blog post that was sent to me. The post suggests several books (including a book that Mallory and I co-produced!!) with autistic authors sharing their experiences. You don’t need to reinvent the skills to transition to college: you can rely on your own strengths and the experiences of others to facilitate your own success.
You got this???? And if you want help, I’m right here!