Autism Gets Better: First on a series on What Worked for Ian (WWI)

I started this newsletter as a way of documenting the post-high school life of my autistic son, Ian. Finding the right place for my younger son was a full time job last year. After talking with consultants, filling out government paperwork, listening to webinars, writing legal briefs with lawyers, attending school meetings, and touring new programs, I placed Ian in a great programthat supports and challenges him in just the right way. 

Because Ian is in a good place right now, I’m taking a breather from transition efforts both in real life and on this newsletter. In real life, I’m cranking up work. I’m taking freelance writing assignments and working on my side hustles. I just completed my substitute teaching certificate and will help out at the local high school to balance out all my time in front of a computer. 

I’m also going to switch gears a bit on this newsletter and look backward, instead of forward. I’m going to talk about lessons that I’ve learned about autism and parenting over the past twenty years. Today’s topic is something that autistic parents all know and assure the younger parents on the playground — they get better.

Read more at The Great Leap, the newsletter

2 thoughts on “Autism Gets Better: First on a series on What Worked for Ian (WWI)

  1. Here’s a Chronicle article on college programs for autistic students:
    I’ll include a few quotes in case you hit a paywall. Sounds like there is a good program at Western Kentucky University.

    “Each year, tens of thousands of students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders graduate from high school, many with aspirations to attend college. Yet only about 100 colleges, most of them four-year institutions, have standalone programs for those students, according to an analysis by members of the College Autism Network. On average, the programs reach just 38 students each. More than a dozen states have no college at all with a program.”

    “The most frequently cited figures come from a 2015 study that drew from a survey conducted in 2009, the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). It estimated that 49,000 autistic students graduated from high school in 2014-15, and 16,000 of them pursued postsecondary education within a few years of finishing, the vast majority at two-year institutions.

    Given the striking rise in autism diagnoses in recent years, those numbers are probably much higher today, according to Bradley E. Cox, founder of the College Autism Network and an associate professor of higher education at Florida State University. Extrapolating from several data sets, he estimates that roughly 9,000 first-time, full-time freshmen with autism attend four-year colleges, and as many as 167,000 autistic students are enrolled across higher education.”

    “On average, programs for students with autism charge between $3,000 and $4,000 a year, according to an analysis by the College Autism Network. While that price can put them out of reach for some low-income students, many are able to cover a portion or all the costs with financial aid, scholarships, or state vocational rehabilitation grants. That’s the case at Western Kentucky, where the state pays the full $5,000 cost for 90 percent of students, according to Michelle Elkins, who directs the autism program.”


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