Transition UP, Inc.
Some Comments on the Outcomes of the 2014/2015 T-UP Academic Year
Posted June 1, 2015
All Transition UP (T-UP) students have completed their first college-year experiences with T-UP supports. Students are either returning to their perspective colleges or going on to four year university studies. Dr. Fischbach, Director of Transition UP, has been reviewing the results of the first year and reports profound success. With the exception of one course, for which the student disenrolled, all courses were completed satisfactorily. Some students decided to change their majors and some are now seeking opportunities for hands on experiences in their chosen fields within the community.
Socially, students have connected with new friends, started new personal relationships, and either joined or are in the process of creating club affiliations. More work on social relationships will be in works throughout the coming year. Not surprising, says Dr. Fischbach, that as social interaction increases so does, for many, social anxiety. Social anxiety will be an ongoing issue for most students and one that will be addressed in the fall through coaching and social group activity.
Good news, measures of self-advocacy show small but positive improvements. For many self advocacy, according to Dr. Fischbach, will be the key to greater independence and reduced anxiety. One surprise that arose out of the measures taken during the past two semesters was the increase in reported sense of control over one’s health. Hopefully as students recognize that they have the opportunity to influence their personal health they will be more eager to engage in improved dietary practices, physical fitness programs, and in general self-help activities.
In summary Dr. Fischbach sees the 2014/2015 academic year as a successful experience for all T-UP participant s with much work to be done in the coming semesters.
T-UP Community College Students Successfully Transfer to Cal State University
Posted June 30, 2015
Students transfering to a Cal State University must successfully complete a minimum of 60 transferable college credits. T-UP's students did so in style, with much better than average grades and meeting all of the CSU's lower division general education requirements.
Having received smart counseling, supportive academic skills development, and good old fachion targeted tutoring T-UP students are highly competitive in both the community and four-year college arenas.
Community college students are invited to check out T-UP and see what a difference clear goal development, strategic planning, and overall support can make.
Transition UP Support the New California Self-Determintaion Law
Posted December 23, 2013
A new and exciting law has been signed by California Govenor Jerry Brown titled the "Self-Determination Program." Under this law a select group of individuals who qualify for Regional Center Services will have the opportunity to gain greater control over their budget for IPP services. Please click on the buttons to the right to read the law and learn more about the law.
College and University Alumni Sought by the Transition UP Program
Posted November 22, 2013
According to Gemma Green, the Transition UP Program Associate Director, "We are seeking to identify college and university alumni who are on the autism spectrum to be active participants in the Transition UP Program." Ms. Green explained that the plan is to have alumni, who have succeeded in turning their college and university degrees into meaningful employment, serve as role models to current Transition UP students in order to help them reach their occupational objectives. Alumni will share their experiences and strategies for meeting the neuro-typical community halfway in the culture of the working world. Students have been very clear that they are no longer satisfied with simply hanging a degree on the wall or being employed at a job that is far below their educational achievements.
(The following article has been reproduced from an Autism Society webpage. For additional articles please go to http://www.autism-society.org/living-with-autism/lifespan/transitions.html.)
Transitions are often difficult for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. People with ASD usually rely on routines in order to better navigate social situations, and a sudden schedule or lifestyle change, such as beginning or graduating from school or starting a new job, can be very disruptive and discomforting. That said, preparatory activities can reduce the stress of transitions, resulting in confidence and comfort during these difficult phases.
For many people with ASD, a major early transition is that from the home environment to preschool or kindergarten settings. Fortunately, at this stage in life many helpful resources are available. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) can help the student with special needs to pursue a valuable and appropriate education. The mandate for that “fair and appropriate public education” (FAPE) comes from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; http://idea.ed.gov/). Acclimation to the social environment of the school requires support from parents, teachers and other school personnel, and other students. For more information and guidance on elementary-age school transitions, click here.
As students with ASD progress through middle and high school, transitions remain a present and challenging aspect of life. Along with the physical and emotional changes and challenges of puberty (click here for suggestions on how to address these), the student and his/her family will in many cases begin to address the move to either employment or college life; this transition planning should begin when the child reaches age 14. And, in fact, transition services are mandated under IDEA for disabled children age 14 and older. Click here for ways to involve the student with autism in the transition after high school.
Many individuals with ASD pursue higher education, earning degrees as well as learning the skills they will need for adult life. (Click here to learn about the college transition.) Some colleges provide resources to students with special needs and there are also programs available that offer social, academic, career and life skills supports necessary for postsecondary success. For information about one such program, click here.
At some point (either after high school or college), the time will likely come to find a job that provides the individual with income, a social experience, and fulfilling work. This transition is a difficult one that requires much effort on the part of the individual and his or her loved ones, but it is, of course, a very rewarding one. Once a job is found, chances are that the individual will eventually make a job or career switch at least a few times during their lifetime, which involves acclimating to a new work environment and new people. Click here for an article about job transitions for people with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Although adapting to changes is more difficult for the individual with ASD, it is certainly attainable if he/she is supported by family, friends, and the community at large. With aid and encouragement, he/she can achieve his/her full potential and maximum quality of life.
The Autism Society improves the lives of all affected by autism through education, advocacy, services, research and support.
Autism Society | 4340 East-West Hwy, Suite 350 | Bethesda, Maryland 20814 | 1(800) 328-8476