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anyone headed to UCONN using Beyond Access Program or just ASD?

overbearingmomoverbearingmom Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
Son is going as an honors student starting with 3 days a week support (in case he needs it). I've met with the Director of the disabilities office and was impressed with their approach, working in partnership, though I am hoping to need to be involved less and less.

I'm "meeting" such supportive UCONN parents, but have yet to meet one whose kid's going to be in the program or has gone through the program. Son's on the FB page for class of 2022, but all the kids seem to be athletic and tapped into the culture, and that's not him, so I'd love to hook him up with a quirky kid who might get him.

Replies to: anyone headed to UCONN using Beyond Access Program or just ASD?

  • ctparent2019ctparent2019 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Hi. Just curious, fid yoir son start at Uconn eith thrir Beyond Access program?
  • overbearingmomoverbearingmom Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    Yes, he's there now. He says it's going well, they have reminded him to check his email (I know because I monitored his email for him and now I see he checks it. He now texts and emails back when we send him something). I think he's on target with his schoolwork, reports that he got an A on his first test. We assumed we'd have to Skype with him on homework, but in a month, we've never done that. Has a D&D group going on his floor, seems to get along well or well enough with his roommate. Honestly so over the moon that he's spreading his wings and soaring and wondering if we did a bit of clipping of the wings while he was here.

    Have resisted the urge to check in with the Office of Disabilities, but I had a lot of questions right before to make sure that he was set up, and they were so friendly and responsive!
  • ctparent2019ctparent2019 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    I don't even know you but I'm so happy for you. That must be a great feeling. I hope he has a great year. My son had all his apps ready for a long list of schools and then we were hit by a diagnosis of Asperger's not too long ago so we are adjusting expectations. I'm very focused on Uconn right now for him and welcome any insights you can give about the Beyond Access program. Also looking at RPI, WPI, RIT, Stevens et al. At what point in application/accepted student process did you tell Uconn he needed supports? And would you recommend staying away from any schools you got to know last year?
  • taverngirltaverngirl Registered User Posts: 534 Member
    Joining the conversation because i have a ds20 with recently diagnosed ADHD, doesn't want to medicate, looking at engineering at some of the schools @ctparent2019 listed. He very much likes UConn (in our backyard so not my first choice, but it's his decision so...) If it does end up being UConn I will definitely look into this program. Am so glad to hear about @overbearingmom's ds who is spreading his wings and soaring, and I'm hoping that is the case for my son as well once he begins his college life.
  • overbearingmomoverbearingmom Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    I don't have a lot of insight into the program itself, because my son is not the font of information, but the Director of the program is fabulous!

    My son and I went to RIT for an Open House on a Saturday and Husky for a Day at UCONN on the following Monday on Veteran's Day weekend. A year ago already, wow, and coincidentally, I'm going to visit again on Veteran's Day.

    I didn't have the chance to talk to anyone one-on-one as it was an Open Session, but I did have a quick minute after the session was over with the presenters and their approach seemed to be "they are adults, they need to advocate for themselves". Yes, but they are adults with a disability...I did talk during the process with a woman whose kid was at RIT and was doing well, but the kid was reluctant to take advantage of the services. My son is not, plus he knows I'm cheap and if I'm paying for it, I want him to get everything out of it. I do have a friend with a sophomore there (undiagnosed quirky) and struggled early in her freshman year without these services, and is now using the services, though they are tight lipped about it. But she is definitely doing better.

    With UCONN, I too was able to talk to a mom whose kid had gone through UCONN with Beyond Access and she was raving about it. She said they would do welfare checks if your kid did not check in (we haven't had to do that, thankfully). She had a working relationship with the Director and introduced us by email and I was able to meet with her while my son went shadowing. My son had done shadowing before in High School because we have the choice of 3 high schools in the area, but I highly recommend they do Husky for a Day, Anyway, the Director put my mind at ease. They said they let the profs know they are "one of their kids", but the kid needs to go to the prof for any help/accommodation and of course, they can give them some help before that happens. Hasn't been needed so far that I know of. They also said that "If something is going on that we can't put our finger on, we'll reach out and you'll talk to your kid/know your kid better than we do, so if something's going on at home or with your kid that you think we should know, we want to hear from you". That made MY decision for me. I had to wait 6 months for him to make the same decision.

    We didn't mention it in the application process, but I did reach out to the Director right after he made his decision and once again, she was gracious as could be. I sent her questions about Orientation, about move in, and now about losing things/Thanksgiving and she has been responsive and helpful.

    @taverngirl I get what you are saying about wanting to send him farther, and I totally get that because he almost went an hour a way and if he had and had any of these little issues, I would have been tempted to go and help, but it's about the best fit for him. UCONN is an amazing school, and has so many activities and such a wonderful school spirit.

    Happy to chat via phone if either of you are interested, maybe a little later in the process would be better, but still. Feel free to PM me.
  • taverngirltaverngirl Registered User Posts: 534 Member
    @overbearingmom thanks so much for the detailed info! We are going to UConn's open house this weekend and will look for the Beyond Access people to introduce my son to the program and get add'l info. We are also checking out RIT. Are you aware of any other schools that have these types of programs in place?
  • overbearingmomoverbearingmom Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    @taverngirl I have heard that the U of A and University of Utah programs are very highly regarded. Rutgers has a program, University of Denver has a program (but it is very expensive, and even with $25k merit aid/yr was $55K for us out of state + the program. I did actually check out the "program" at UC Santa Barbara. They and UCLA have Autism centers for kids on the spectrum, and I think that UCSB is now starting to build a program for their kids who are now college age. But to me, they were not ready out of the box for my son's needs.

    For us, we looked at "top state schools and a few private schools in locations he liked". He had the ultimate choice and ruled out many for location/no program in his major/missing clubs he wanted.

    http://collegeautismspectrum.com/collegeprograms/ Not sure why the ones I mentioned aren't on the list (how wonderful that there is a list at all!
    https://www.collegechoice.net/rankings/best-colleges-for-students-with-autism <<may be out of date because UCONN's program is Beyond Access.
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