Does anyone have any resources - books/websites/etc. to help me explore how to help a college aged ASD child? We've never had her diagnosed, but sometimes looking at things through that lens has helped me. Would love a cross between enneagram and ASD - but I'm guessing I'm out of luck there! Hard to find even a book on parenting with the enneagram much less adding in ASD. Any suggestions?
@VickiW I'm heading to a class right now, but I'll send you some resources when I can! I'm self-diagnosis autistic and in college now!
@VickiW This is probably the most relevant resource I know of. The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network has a handbook for Autistic college students written by other autistic college students! I haven't read all of it honestly because it's long, but there's a lot of good info! You can download a PDF at the link
@VickiW There's also a paperback book you can buy with guidelines for systems change for self-advocates. it seems really cool, but I don't think I'm confident enough for that yet
@VickiW There's also a handbook about transitioning to adulthood in general
ASAN has a really good library of resources.
Most of these are geared towards autistic people themselves, so it may be helpful to point your daughter to these resources if she has time, but I'm sure it would be helpful for you too!
@VickiW I'm not aware of any books that target this subject directly, but lots of people with ASD benefit from systems to manage goals and tasks. I really latched onto Getting Things Done by David Allen just after I graduated, and I wish I had found it earlier.
@VickiW Honestly a lot of the resources made specifically for parents can be really crappy and harmful, so be wary of anything framed in that way, especially if it was not written by autistic people
@VickiW In addition to those resources, everyone's experience is different, but I'll share some tips I've found helpful:
Just knowing I was likely Autistic going into college was extremely helpful. Following the #actuallyautistic community on Twitter, reading blogs, and now this community have been a lifesaver for me. It helps me to know I'm not alone, and to be able to talk about my experiences.
@VickiW Because I was aware of my issues with socializing I deliberately chose a few clubs/recurring weekly events to get involved in. This ensures that I am able to meet with friends regularly as well as meet new people. I also chose clubs I am very interested in so that I can pursue those interests. It's very hard for me to schedule social interaction so having it prescheduled is very helpful.
Knowing that I don't have to like what everyone else likes is freeing.i don't need to attend games
Also everyone's sensory issues will be different, but addressing them makes life better.
Sometimes I wear a hat to some classes because the lights hurt my eyes. In crowded places I usually am listening to music. Some people have sound-blocking headphones.
Even without documentation many professors will give accommodations if you need them. Many are actually willing to give extensions on papers or projects, or explain things that were confusing in class.
@VickiW I'm not sure if this is true of other Autistic college students, but personally I tend to be focused on what I'm doing now rather than my parents at home. I only call them if I have something I need to tell them and I know that can be hard on them. I've told them they can call me if they just wanna talk.
Remember that she may be experiencing the world differently from you and listen when she tells you these things. If you don't understand something about how she's acting, try asking her
@VickiW I know this is a lot, but feel free to ask if you have any specific questions!
@Laura_I it is a lot, but I'm working on absorbing. Here's my most pressing question right now - I've never discussed with her my thoughts that she may have ASD (I don't even know if that's the right way to phrase it!). How and when should I talk about it with her?
@VickiW Hmm I'm actually in the opposite position. I agree that if you find a blog post or list of characteristics that you think really fits her maybe you could ask what she thinks of it.
It may also help for her to hear you talk about autism and autistic people positively so that she knows you aren't trying to say anything negative about her. It can be scary and there's a lot of misconceptions. Let her know that you love her and you just want to help her understand herself.
@VickiW Also she may reject it. She may not think it applies to her. There are some things you can't tell just from outside observation.
If this happens it's probably best to leave her to explore it on her own. She may do research and find that it does fit or that it doesn't. I think several people here were told first by others that they were autistic including @mike . So I wonder if they would have any better advice
@VickiW oh also as far as phrasing, most autistic people prefer to be called autistic. Rather than saying has autism/ASD, but it is a matter of personal preference.
One phrasing that may be easier for people new to the concept is "on the spectrum" but it's important to remember that the spectrum doesn't go from high-functioning to low-functioning, but is actually all-encompassing of diverse experiences of autistic people
@VickiW @Laura_I My brother and I both recently graduated college and were only diagnosed with ASD in the last year. However, my parents and my brother's doctors suspected he was on the spectrum for years and never told him anything. Now as an adult with a diagnosis, he definitely wishes he had known when he was younger so he could have learned strategies and just generally been more accepting of himself. For me, I'm finding books like Autism in Heels and other personal stories the most helpful
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