Has anyone had experience as a student with ASD or parent of at any of the Florida colleges? Particularly interested in Flagler, UNF or New College.
Hey there! As a student with disabilities (not ASD though), did you have any particular questions? If you don’t mind my asking does your son/daughter have a current 504 or IEP? I have some experience (multiple accommodations across 3 years) and have friends that attend colleges with disabilities so I’ll do my best to help answer any questions. Happy to help in any way possible and relieve some of the stress
Thank you. My biggest concern is acceptance. Since my son also has ASD, he is different. Are students receptive and supportive? Also, he needs a lot of academic support. Are professors flexible with LD kids?
Each college is going to do academic support differently and in most cases like these on a case by case basis. I for example struggle in Math and require extra support there.
The accessibility resource office (commonly called office of disability services or OSD) is going to be your #1 advocate in this case. Start talking to them early and see what kind of accommodations they can put in place. Tutoring support is commonly limited to 1-2 appointments a day and some colleges have open lab style tutoring. Consider making an appointment with the OSD office at all 3 colleges and discuss your son individually.
Professors are required to follow whatever OSD says. What that means is, they are a completely independent entity. The professor will follow the OSD document to the T. The professor may accommodate the student outside of class in office hours but that’s always a bit tricky. As I said above, the professor is not your “go to” person here, OSD is. OSD is your liason between professor(s), your son, and his accommodations. I assume LD you mean learning disability? Yes, OSD will (with doctors documentation) provide a brief description of how it impacts your son and inform the professor. How and if the content/course will be accommodated will be a discussion between OSD and the department (math for example) and the professor It also always depends on what’s being requested. Can you share some of his current accommodations?
- Specific in class situations should be addressed with the professor and if not resolved escalated to OSD.
Student gets extra time per OSD document > Student didn’t get extra time > Professor refuses to honor OSD document > Email written to professor asking for clarification and to see why the extra time was not given > if no answer on 2 attempts / no real resolution > Escalation
Always work with the instructor or faculty first and see if it can resolved at the “local” level
- It sounds like you’re very involved in your sons education and that’s amazing. For the sake of FERPA however, keep in mind that FERPA restricts you from acting on your son’s behalf. Consider having your son sign a FERPA waiver allowing you to work on his behalf if needed.
- Students are all very nice and respectful (for the most part, we will always have haters and unkind people in this world sadly). I haven’t met your son in person so I can’t speak for how he does with conversation etc (ASD impacts everyone a little differently) but he is sure to find his place on any campus. If you’re concerned about bullying or anything “high school style” College students are all very much relaxed and here to have a good time . Some colleges even offer peer mentor groups or support groups for students with academic struggles / ASD. If he can get a peer mentor to show him around campus and make the “upgrade” to a new campus a little less stressful, that would be a good starting point in my opinion.
Peer mentoring and support groups are almost always available and it sounds like he would be a great fit! They will work with him and help him adjust while being a friend he can reach out to and on some campuses these students / peer mentors can be advocates for the student.
Hope this helps! Feel free to reply with specific questions and I can answer them better.