I went to the Southern Maryland College Fair yesterday morning. I know that my son is only in 8th grade, but I also know that he's going to need a special university to meet his needs. However, if I'm a successful advocate, maybe, just maybe, he can learn most of what he needs in the executive functioning and social skills arenas during the next five years in our county schools and will need only minimal supports in college.
Anyway, there were 108 colleges and universities represented there. I started out at a table that had an available recruiter and just started asking. I wasn't sure how to explain what I was getting at, but by the time I made it around to the halfway point, I got the gist of it: Most universities have to be ADA compliant -- I'm not sure if that applies to private universities that accept no state or federal dollars -- and have to provide certain supports to otherwise qualified students. I can visit their websites to see the kinds of supports that their "Student Support Services" offices offer.
I know from talking with professionals that there are universities that now offer supports specifically designed for people with Asperger's. Unfortunately, the universities that I was interested in -- those within a few-hour drive from home -- weren't among them. Sigh. That doesn't mean, though, that in the next five years they won't create them.
At this moment in time, it's really hard to imagine what my son will be like in four to five years. If I were to help him decide based on how he is right now, I'd want him at one of the two local colleges, and he'd live at home. So I guess what I really want is for him to do a whole lot of growing between now and then so that he can get the full college experience on a level playing field.
(Oh, and I chit-chatted with the Superintendent of Schools. He's a very charismatic man, so it's a bit like talking to a rock star and your highest-up boss at the same time. He genuinely cares about students, but I can't help being scared every time I talk to him because he holds the futures of my children in his hands. I can't afford to blow it.)