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Are there any college scholarships/grants for Asperger's students?

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-11-08 11:35 AM
Original message
Are there any college scholarships/grants for Asperger's students?
My son is a junior in high school and is extremely bright, especially in the sciences; physics, in particular. He's also well-rounded in other subjects and tests off the charts. His biggest problem is, of course, organization and consistency.

Does anyone know if there are any college scholarships/grants for students with Asperger's? We just aren't gonna have the full amount for any college, we'll be lucky to have even some.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't know of any specifically
then again, my test scores were high enough to get me pretty much full-ride financial aid (albeit with work-study, loans, etc.) How are his?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-13-08 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. He hasn't taken the SAT or ACT yet, he will
next spring. But he usually scores extremely high, I'm talking in the 90's percentile, on virtually every subject on the assessment and state graduation tests. He's very bright, the problem is, no surprise, no organizational and detail skills (just like his mother, yours truly, I'm afraid), and consequently trouble getting work done and, thus, getting the grades that he should be getting and that I know he can get.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-19-08 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. Check this out: A college resource guide from Asperger Foundation International
Edited on Wed Nov-19-08 04:58 PM by KamaAina
http://www.aspfi.org/college/index.html

seems to be geared toward school selection more than financial aid -- but I suppose I could ask the foundation director, a personal acquaintance who is a part-time Hawai'i resident (thus should be arriving shortly!)!

edit: spelling
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-08 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Alas, the source says there are no such special funds out there
she suggests you select an appropriate school and then apply for aid like anyone else. T'would be nice to get those test scores as high as possible, 'specially if, as you say, the grades haven't been there (never a problem for me).

Hmmm... might this not be a worthwhile endeavor for your fledgling organization: to establish and endow such a fund?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-08 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks, Kama, appreciate it!
And yes, that is a good point about my nonprofit. It's been hard to get it going in a rural area, although I did have a booth at a state gathering recently. I'm working on initial grant funding. But that is an excellent idea and I know it's badly needed.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. Here's a book on the subject
http://www.annpalmerautism.com

Realizing the College Dream with Autism or Asperger Syndrome is both a practical and a personal account of one ASD student's successful experience of going to college. This accessible book focuses on how to get there and stay there: deciding to go, how to get in and how to get the most out of it. Ann Palmer advises parents and professionals how to prepare the student for the transition from school and home life to a new environment and educational challenge, and how to support them through potential problems such as academic pressure, living away from home, social integration and appropriate levels of participation in college. She offers helpful strategies that will encourage and inspire parents and students and show that college can be a suitable option for students with an autism spectrum disorder, as well as the basis for a successful independent life later.

This book is essential reading for any parent considering college as an option for their child, disability service providers in colleges and for ASD students themselves.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. He should have taken some of those
tests by now. Did he take the PSAT, the one that determines the National Merit stuff?

If he scores high on standardized tests and has decent grades, you'd be surprised at the schools out there willing to give scholarships, including merit aid. You can do a LOT of research on his behalf about schools and the scholarships they offer.

But first off, speaking as the mother of a son (who will be 26 in three weeks) whose Asperger's went undiagnosed until he was half way through his senior year of high school), you need to have a very good grasp on how much support he's going to need in college. If he's going to need any at all, make sure the college is going to be able to supply that support. I'd say that at a minimum he'll need some kind of mentor/tutor who will meet with him at least once a week to keep him on task and organized.

The good news is that a goodly number of science students either have Asperger's, or are at least very tolerant of those who do have it. And as a consequence, some science departments, even without formal support services, are very good for kids like this. Engineering is another good field.

My Asperger's son started out as a physics major, but because we did not understand how much support he was going to need in college, wound up flunking out of his first school. He then went to an excellent State University and took engineering, but because of his lack of social skills, and even though we'd set him up with mentoring, when he got behind in some of his course work he did not seek out the help he needed, and wound up again having to leave. He is currently completing a CAD (computer aided design) program at a local junior college, and for the first time in his life is experiencing academic success and getting all A's and B's. I think that's largely because the junior college system is designed for practical success. If my son could apprentice into a physics lab instead of needing to get a degree to work in the field, he'd be just fine. But his particular deficits have made completing the academics very difficult for him, despite being incredibly brilliant in physics (one professional astronomer called him a genius to my face).

So be very aware of the pitfalls your son may face, but with your support and help he can be very successful.
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