Preparing to Move to College with Autism

By Cassidy Hopson

Moving away from home to attend college is a big lifestyle change for every young adult. But, for those with autism, this change can be particularly challenging. The intensity of college courses combined with increased responsibilities can be a difficult adjustment for new college students with ASD. Below are 5 tips to help make the transition to college life more manageable for those with ASD.

Practice independence

moving to college

College is the first true experience of independence for many people. Learning to cook meals, do laundry, grocery shop as a full-time student can be overwhelming at first. By helping your teen with ASD learn to do some of these tasks at home before moving, they will be better prepared to live independently. 

Contact the school’s disability office

Before attending school, it is important to reach out to your university’s disability office. Many colleges provide services such as academic accommodations and career coaching for students with disabilities, including ASD.

Find a personal counselor

Some days will be harder than others at college. When this newfound responsibility and change become burdensome, it’s a good idea to have a counselor or mental health provider you can speak to who can help you manage any difficulties.

Let your professors know of your ASD

By notifying your professors early on of your ASD they can be better understand your circumstances. So, if at any time you are struggling with the course, you can reach out to your professor for help. Many instructors are willing to help students who ask for it.

Research clubs or societies

Socializing can often be challenging for those with ASD. Joining a club or society that has similar interests as you can be a great way to meet new people and make friends. Make a list of activities you enjoy or are passionate about and research what local groups focus on that activity.

University of Florida

Disability Resource Center

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) celebrates disability identity as a valued aspect of diversity. We champion a universally accessible community that supports the holistic advancement of students with disabilities. The DRC envisions a universally inclusive community where all individuals are seen as valued and contributing leaders of society. The DRC collaborates with campus partners to facilitate access for students with disabilities through providing, accessibility consulting, academic accommodations, and education on disability inclusion.

Santa Fe College

Disability Resource Center at Santa Fe

The DRC provides services to Santa Fe College students with disabilities, so they have an equal opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of SF life. The DRC serves students with a wide array of disabilities and this website provides valuable information for students, parents, faculty and staff related to various responsibilities, services and programs of the office.


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