Managing College With Asperger Syndrome

College can be a difficult but immensely rewarding time for those with Asperger's Syndrome. New social situations, crowded dormitories, and tricky assignments can make college a challenge. On the other hand, making friends, learning new things, and achieving academic success can make college very satisfying. If you have Asperger's syndrome and you're going to be heading off to college soon, you may be wondering how you'll manage your life.

College will require you to develop new routines, interact with lots of new people, and deal with many variables that are outside of your control. Fortunately, settling into college life isn't impossible. Here are a few suggestions to help you ease into being a college student with Asperger's:

Request a single dorm room - If you're going to be living on campus, it will probably benefit you to live in a single dorm room. You'll need a quiet, calm space to study and spend time by yourself. Contact the residence life department at your school, and let them know that you have Asperger's and will need your own room. Being upfront about your needs from the beginning is critical, especially when it comes to where you're going to live.

Take a few online classes, if possible - An increasing number of universities and colleges are now offering online classes in addition to traditional classes. If your school offers online classes, consider signing up for a few of those each semester.

Online classes will give you a break from social interaction and let you learn in the comfort of your dorm room.

Get the documentation you need - You'll need to go to your college's disabilities services office before you start classes to get documentation that you'll need accommodations in your classes.

You will need to provide them with a current evaluation verifying your diagnosis. The personnel at the disabilities services office at your school may only be vaguely familiar with what sorts of accommodations you need. So, before you meet with them, it's a good idea to sit down with your family or a therapist and make a list of what you'll need your university or college to take into consideration.

Map out your schedule before you leave for college - As soon as you know when your classes are going to be, sit down and write out a schedule for yourself that includes everything you'll do each day. You may need to tweak this schedule a little bit when you get to school, but it will be comforting to be able to start school and already have a plan for yourself in mind. Going away to college is going to bring about a lot of change in your life. And change is difficult, especially if you have Asperger's. So, it's best for you to try to develop routines at the very start of the school year.

Find a tutor - Some of the core classes you'll be expected to take in the social sciences and humanities may be challenging, particularly if they require a lot of writing.

So, you may need a tutor to help you out. Search for a tutor who has worked extensively with students who have learning disabilities. If the tutor you work with doesn't seem to be helping you accomplish your academic goals, search for another one. Being able to work with someone who truly understands your gifts and limitations is crucial.

Stay in close contact with your family - Make sure you call your family at a set time each day. It will be good for you touch base with them regularly, especially if things get a little tough. If you'll be attending college in the city where you grew up, make sure you regularly schedule time to spend with them. They'll be able to support you as you navigate college life and help you preserve a very important sense of stability.

Keep the suggestions listed above in mind as you embark on your new journey as a college student, and don't forget to have fun in this new chapter of your life!

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