The majority of teens with Asperger’s Disorder graduate from high school and many go on to college. There is nothing about having Asperger’s Disorder that specifically prevents one from graduating college. However, many challenges can be faced with the independence of living away from home.
Getting up on time for class, managing the workload, being offered drugs and alcohol, managing money, dating, and sex can be more challenging for the Asperger’s Disorder student than her nondisordered peers. These aspects of college are usually more stressful than learning the academic material. The high level of structure and assistance the student had at home and school during childhood and adolescence is suddenly nonexistent when she gets to college.
While federal law dictates that all colleges must comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, these modifications and accommodations can only address so much. Most colleges are not prepared to meet the vast social and emotional needs that Asperger’s Disorder students have. However, as more and more students with Asperger’s Disorder attend college, special programs to help them succeed are being developed on college campuses. Studies are finding that college students who have contact with a counselor or mentor on a daily basis are finding less stress, better coping abilities, and greater success remaining in college.