It is almost that time of year again. That is right..BACK TO SCHOOL FOR THE COLLEGES. Many of us are full of excitement, while many of us are full of nerves.However, when a student has an Autism Specturm Disorder, those "nerves" can be very difficult to deal with. I say this because as someone with an ASD, I too am having tons of nerves about the next step. And let me tell you, it was no picnic in the park.
This Fall, I was supposed to start my next educational journey to earn my Bachelor's. I already received my Asssociate's back in May. But during the summer, I had what was many of us on the spectrum call "a Shut Down". I started to have trouble concentrating and focusing on what was going on around me in my environment. I would have days that I could not even look at my emails or go on the computer because everything would look "jumbled". I kind of "lost" some of the skills that I had gained throughout my first 3 years at CCRI. At one point, I could hardly talk without my speech sounding jumbled. I also went through some emotional ups and downs, as well. It had finally taken me the whole summer to realize that this was a result of a HUGE change in my life.
But did I give up? NOPE!! Instead, I am taking things more slower. I am taking time off to transisition myself more easily.Here is how I will do it. Also, I am planning on exploring career options that my degree will allow me to have. This will serve as a "motivation" for me to go back to my schooling with a positive and exciting attitude. Then, in the Spring of 2013 I will be ready to start my next college degree, earning my Bachelor's.
Here is my advice to anyone who has an ASD or has a family member with an ASD who is about to step into the college world. It is okay that if you or your loved one may need time off or if they are ready to enter college to go part-time and ease into the transition. I know that most already have all of the paperwork and transition stuff done months ago, but sometimes we may need an additional break. That way when we are ready, we will be ready to succeed to the fullest. But remember we all must take that next step to succeed in life, even if it takes a while to get to there. But when you finally get there, it will be all worth it.