Facing the Challenges of Asperger’s and Transitioning to College

J. Sergeant Reynolds, Richmond VA

Courage to Succeed program helps ease the way through college for those who need a little extra help.

For students with Asperger’s Syndrome the first day of college is filled with fear and anxiety. Charterhouse School, an affiliate of UMFS, and Commonwealth Autism Service have partnered on a program, Courage to Succeed, which will help students with Asperger’s Syndrome transition to college successfully. The program starts today with six students attending J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

“Students with Asperger’s Syndrome or high functioning Autism have very specific challenges that they must work to overcome to be successful in a college setting,” said Dr. Erik Laursen, Executive Director of Charterhouse School. “The program works with these students by providing individualized support in social, independent, and life skills based on the students’ strengths and needs.”

 Courage to Succeed uses a positive behavior support approach to assess each student’s needs and develop appropriate academic, social and life skills supports. Students meet regularly with College Program staff and their positive behavior support teams to monitor progress, develop “to-do” lists and identify new goals.

 Each student, along with his or her family, participated in individualized planning prior to the first semester of their enrollment in college. Plans will be developed through a team approach and will provide a framework in three categories: academic, social, and independent living support. These support systems are designed to lead to increased independent living and employment upon graduation.

 “Our goal is help these students succeed and obtain a college degree,” added Laursen.

 To learn more about the Courage to Succeed program, visit www.charterhouseschool.org.

Rhonda is the mother of two adult daughters and a grandmother to five wonderful grandchildren – and our only grandmother on staff. She spent 25 years in corporate healthcare managing prenatal and disease management programs. She is the Content Manager for Richmondmom and contributes her expertise as both a mom and grandmother – while sorting out the many opportunities for our valuable advertisers.