College-Bound Help

Preparing for and going to college can be difficult for teenagers on the Autism Spectrum. Socializing is only one part of the challenge; anticipating greater independence, managing time, negotiating lots of social expectations, along with practicing self-advocacy and self-determination.... all can present opportunities to use your strengths and learn more skills.


Online Resources:

1) Think College is a great resource specifically designed for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

2) Going to College is a website developed by the Virginia State Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. It is a free website that you can use during the months while you get ready to apply for and head off to college.It can help you:

  • learn how to use your strengths, learning style and interests to set goals for college;
  • think about what to expect in college and what professors will expect from you;
  • get some tips for good grades, accommodations and using technology; and
  • learn what you can do ahead of time to prepare for and apply to college. 

3) Visit the website Navigating College - a Project of The Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Their Navigating College book is downloadable in PDF format. To download the book, follow this link:
Navigating College Handbook (PDF, 1.79 MB)


4) Organization for Autism Research holds an annual college scholarship competition for people on the spectrum. You can find their information by using this link.

5) Read this helpful internet article about what to do when you're looking into college

6) Experience actual online college courses by visiting, Open Online Courses at, This is a project which allows anyone to sign up and complete a variety of college level courses online, for free.

7) Toolkit links below for valuable information on transition and preparation for the college experience for students and families.

Preparing for Postsecondary Education
Types of Postsecondary Education Programs
Obtaining Services and Asking for Accommodations
Life on Campus
Learning to Live Independently: A Personal Perspective
Peer-to-Peer Advice
Advice for Parents
Alternative Learning for People With Autism: A Personal Perspective
A Retrospective on Postsecondary Educational Opportunities

8)  Post-Secondary Education Resource Guide including colleges, universities, programs, websites, articles, rights and laws, and financial aid:

Resource Guide

Courtesy of:

Jessica Steinberg Graduate Research Assistant, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis


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