Autism College Support
After more than two decades of working with students who have ASD, I’ve developed a keen understanding of the special challenges they face taking classes online or on campus—and the support it takes to manage them.
XLR8 Autism College Support is a one-on-one coaching program that empowers students by helping them develop the tools, confidence, and independence they need to succeed in college and beyond. All for less than comparable independent and on-campus programs.
Self-determination is central to the program, which I individualize to help students meet the academic goals they set for themselves. Once those goals are set, we create a plan to reach them, tackle problems that arise, learn, and celebrate. A lot.
One of the keys to XLR8 is my experience in getting to know college students with autism and delivering the support they need in a way that’s tailored to the way they think and learn.
While the XLR8 program is flexible and individualized, many students tend to need support in the following general areas:
College students I work with often face difficulties with time management, turning in assignments on time, prioritizing study time, keeping a calendar, and showing up when and where they’re supposed to (virtually or in person) that can negatively impact their performance in school and in life. I help them get organized, on-task, on-time, and focused on success.
I work with students to discover the way they learn best and then develop study skills around that, helping them actually learn more in less time–and with a lot less frustration. Studying will never be as fun as a night of online gaming, but it doesn’t have to be torture, either.
Communicating clearly and effectively in writing can be tough for students with ASD. I’ve seen them struggle. I’ve also helped them turn into strong writers by coaching them (i.e. helping them do it themselves) in a way that fits the way they think and lets them see their own growth as their grades improve assignment by assignment.
The “A” word is where I can bring special value as an objective third party, free from the baggage and conflict that’s baked into the typical parent-child relationship. My students come to know me as a trusted ally, not a taskmaster.
Getting the help and accommodations they need from professors and the school disabilities office can also be a challenge. XLR8 teaches students how to:
- understand when they need help,
- identify and articulate the help they need,
- find the on-campus resource to help them, and
- ask for the help in a way that will get results from professors and administrators
I can also refer students to subject-specific tutors when appropriate.
What Parents are Saying About XLR8 Autism College Support
“In the 6 months Barbara’s been working with our son, he’s shown more confidence, improved executive functioning, and more fluid social communication. He’s benefiting greatly from having a practical framework and specific goals. I only wish we’d hired her sooner!”
“We’re so thankful we hired Barbara to work with our daughter her freshman year in college. She needed someone to help her set ambitious goals and break them down into manageable chunks. The weekly coaching sessions helped her get feedback where she needed it and to stay accountable for her progress.”
“Barbara provided tools, coaching, and accountability that helped our daughter grow in her skills and confidence for organizing her college studies, prioritizing daily “to-do” lists, and more. She helped her self-advocate at school to get tutoring and other academic support. Barbara’s knowledge has been a real asset.”
How XLR8 Autism College Support Works
XLR8 Student Intake
I meet with the student to learn his academic goals and get his assessment of what he’s struggling with, then I make my assessment of where he needs help. Note: those two things are not always the same.
XLR8 Parental Intake
This session, which can happen with our without the student, is where I get the parents’ assessment of the student’s academic and non-academic struggles.
XLR8 Semester Kickoff Session
In this session, the student and I talk about his class schedule, set academic goals, and we begin to outline how to go about achieving them.
Twice Weekly XLR8 Sessions
These sessions are where the rubber meets the road. We meet at the beginning and toward the end of each week to plan the week ahead, anticipate and address issues, review progress, and identify/solve problems.
Twice per term, I update the parents on the student’s progress in his classes, specific things we’re working on together, and outlook. I also answer the parents’ questions and discuss any issues I think require their attention. Note: parents will be notified immediately upon discovery of any issues that require urgent attention.
All students have their weaknesses, and college students with autism are no different. I designed XLR8 College Autism Support to strengthen those weaknesses so they can enjoy the success they deserve.
Let’s Get Started