Navigating College With Autism – Working Hard On My Research Paper!

November 30, 2009

I am currently working on a research paper which is on a comparison/contrast movie review. The movie I decided to do it on is Slumdog Millionaire, since it won the Academy Award for best picture of the year in 2008. I have done an extensive amount of research for this paper. You are required to document your sources through parenthetical documentation. It is imperative to use direct quotes, paraphrases and block quotes in the research paper. I have completed my Works Cited page, a detailed outline showing evidence, and I wrote the first two paragraphs for my rough draft.

When I was younger, I never imagined myself in a million years, writing a research paper in college! It is truly amazing when I think about it! As a parent, by getting your child the neccessary early help and intervention, you can have hope that maybe one day your child will be writing a research paper in college. As a college freshman, I have gone through my fair share of trials and tribulations, but I am committed to never giving up and I am maintaining a positive attitude.

Photo from masterorz

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Autism: The Importance of Early Diagnosis and Intervention

November 20, 2009

Autism is defined as a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth. Autistic children look perfectly normal in appearance; however, they typically engage in disturbing and confusing behaviors. For many years autism was considered to be very rare. Now 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism. Boys also outnumber girls four to one.

I was diagnosed with PDD (within the autism spectrum) at the age of 4 in 1994. My mom got me all the help she could, including speech therapy, play therapy, and occupational therapy. It was like a full-time job for her! But she says that she wishes she would have known even earlier, that I could have been getting help from the time I was 2 years old.  Today there is so much more awareness, information and help out there for parents of autistic children. Early intervention is extremely important. Don’t wait. Get your child all the help you can as early as possible.

Photo by ali edwards

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Life as a College Student with Autism: A final grade of B on My Advertising Analysis Paper!

November 18, 2009

Recently I received a B on my Advertising Analysis paper for English class. I put in a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication into writing a successful paper. The paper was a staggering 874 words! I decided to write about an advertisement mainly about taking care of the environment by recycling, planting trees, growing organic fruits and vegetables, and creating green gardens. These are some of the progressive initiatives which were outlined and described in this advertisement. I felt extremely nervous about writing this paper because, even for a good writer like me, it was a very difficult assignment. The most difficult part of the assignment was trying to a find the appropriate ad, which included enough text and pictures. My overall grade consisted of an evaluation of my structure and focus, content, and the quality of writing. I feel very proud and thrilled about my grade! I was genuinely astonished about getting a B on this assignment. This is probably the happiest I had ever been about receiving a B in my life! The purpose of this assignment was to explain the evidence in your selected advertisement using photographs, captions and text. It was a requirement to write a minimum of 700 words. Also, I was expected to use direct quotes and paraphrases extensively throughout my paper. My attention-grabbing title was the Green Effect- Winning Ideas for a Better World. I proofread my paper very thoroughly, correcting errors and implemented the necessary changes that I needed to make. At the end of the day, I felt very proud of my hard work and very proud of my writing ability.

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Tutoring Help From TRIO Grant Program

November 6, 2009

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I feel very privileged to have such an outstanding math tutor. She has a tremendous amount of knowledge about all of the different algebraic concepts. The Trio tutoring program is a great program for students with disabilities. It is so nice to have such a knowledgeable one-on-one tutor free of charge. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for students with disabilities to have the opportunity to get the necessary tutoring help they need. My tutor has been very patient so far and she is very caring and understanding as well. She is in the Nova Southeastern University Medical Program and has a passion for math. Currently, I am doing some extra pre-algebra practice, which will help prepare me for the class I will be taking next semester. My tutor is very dedicated towards helping me achieve my goals.

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The TRIO Grant Program

October 30, 2009

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I have some great news! I have been selected to participate in the Office of Disability Services TRIO Grant Program. The Trio Grant program is a federally funded program designed to assist students with disabilities in being successful at Broward College. This program can help you get you’re A.A degree within two years. The goal of the program is to get you into a four-year college or university. I am honored to be one of fifty students selected for this program. The TRIO Grant offers one-on-one specialized tutoring, technology support, mentoring, tracking services that support your academic success, Specialized Career Awareness Assessments and Financial Aid assistance.

This program should help me out tremendously in my pursuit towards my academic goals. I am looking forward to the tutoring help that I will be receiving. This appears to be a very good program.

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Navigating College with Autism: The Importance of Advocating for Yourself

October 19, 2009

I cannot even begin to tell you how imperative it is to advocate for yourself in college, especially for students with disabilities. College is not like High School where teachers and support facilitators are constantly checking up on how you’re doing. In college you are completely on your own. Basically I saved myself just very recently by advocating for myself.

I was academically misplaced into the wrong math class. I knew something was up because the material was extremely difficult for me, right from the get-go. I was placed into Elementary Algebra when really I was supposed to be in a class called MAT002, which is a prerequisite to Elementary Algebra. I went directly to my disability services specialist and I told her that I was really struggling and falling behind in that class. She promptly looked up my test scores and realized that they placed me into a higher level class. If I had not scheduled an appointment to talk with her about my struggles in this course, the consequences could have been big. By speaking up for myself, I got switched into the correct class for next semester. In conclusion, people are always willing to help you in college as long as you are willing to speak up for yourself.

 

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Navigating College with Autism – So far, so good!

September 28, 2009

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I have been doing very well in my English class, Computer Lit class and my total wellness class. The only class I am struggling in right now is algebra, since it is by far my toughest subject. I am good with words, not numbers! I am trying to put the extra time into studying my notes and I am doing the best I can to seek help. This is just one of those math courses where the goal for me is going to be just to get through it. My A’s and B’s will come in my other classes.

In contrast to my math class,  I am having no problem whatsoever in my English 1 class. We have been doing a grammar and punctuation review unit in order to get us prepared for the research papers and essays we are going to be writing all term. I have done an excellent job on the grammar review packets, and I have a feeling that I did a great job on the unit test we took on Wednesday. I grasped the grammatical concepts immediately, while most of the students in my class have been struggling.  English is a subject that tends to go very easy for me. I have a passion for writing, which is why I am very interested in eventually going into journalism.

My professors have been very reasonable and helpful so far. It’s very interesting how they all have very different teaching styles and philosophies. My learning disability is definitely a major player in math. I have always struggled tremendously in any kind of math class. It is very imperative for me to get the help I need. I will give you three career fields that you can automatically eliminate for me: rocket scientist, mathematician, and an engineer! Let’s be real here, right?

Socially speaking, I am still looking to make new friends and I want to be as active as possible. I am looking into clubs or organizations that spark my interest. I am into politics, sports, and most importantly helping people! I would love to do some volunteer charity work around the community.  I want to make a difference in other peoples’ lives.

It’s amazing because after the conclusion of my first month of college, I feel like I have enjoyed the college life much better than I did the high school life, and I belive my comfort level will increase as time goes on. Incredibly, this is after four long years of high school. High School just was not for me.

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College as an Autistic Student – My First Month

September 23, 2009

college books

I have some very good news to share with you all:  My first month of college has gone extremely well overall.  I have officially transitioned into a college student psychologically and emotionally.

The first couple weeks is all about getting used to your classes and becoming familiar with what the campus has to offer. It’s the feeling-out stage. For example, you should use this time to get familiar with your classes and your professors’ teaching styles and philosophies, make sure you are organized, make sure you’re spending enough time outside of class studying, find out about clubs and organizations you can join, and manage your time wisely.

I cannot emphasize enough how important managing your time wisely is. There is no way you can get good grades in college without studying and putting the necessary time and effort into your work. The strategy I have implemented is to get all of my work and studying completed in the school library.  This works well for me because, once I get home,  I tend to get totally distracted by television, Facebook, you tube, fantasy football, music, desiring a good nap, etc. All of the energy is drained out of me as soon as I get home after a long day of classes.

Yes, I have a confession to make! I can be the ultimate procrastinator! I consider myself to be a highly motivated person, meaning of course I want to get good grades and do well; however, it is my nature to get very lackadaisical at home. I am so much more focused when I am at school! I highly recommend this strategy of getting as much done in the library as you can possibly get done. I guarantee you that you will feel better about yourself once you accomplish everything you need to get done, instead of procrastinating or putting your homework off till later.

photo by wohnai

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Making the transition from high school to college as an autistic student

September 18, 2009

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So far I am enjoying the college life much better than the high school life. It is such a relief to be around some mature individuals! As far as my major is concerned, for my first two years it is going to be Special Education. I am getting financial aid from Vocational Rehabilitation, a government agency that helps people who have disabilities get jobs. Voc Rehab advised me to pick a career major that I could realistically get a job in after two years of college.

Initially, my preferred major was journalism; however, the journalism industry is in transition, and the economic conditions in the journalism field are not so great. But depending on how things go, I may eventually change my major. On the other hand, I would like to do something that is emotionally rewarding and fulfilling, and working with students with learning disabilities might be just the thing as I would be able to relate personally.

I am also receiving accommodations for my learning disability through the Students with Disabilities department at the college. I will be given extra time for testing and algebra tutoring. This should help me out tremendously!

My plan is to transfer to a university after I conclude my first two years of college. I plan on being a very successful student by putting in the time and effort it takes to get good grades and grasp the material. I believe I can accomplish great things in college as long as I put my mind on ultimately accomplishing my goals and dreams!

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A college student with autism – My first day!

September 14, 2009

My first day of college went better then my wildest imaginations! Everything went very smoothly as a result of my positive attitude and new found appreciation for the college life! College is so much better then High School in many ways.

First of all, you can be your own independent person and you feel less obligated and pressured to make people accept you. As a result, you can just be yourself and concentrate on what is best for you. You do not have to worry about fitting in or getting accepted into groups and clicks! In college you are free to follow your dreams and passions!

The classes I am taking this semester include Elementary Algebra, English Composition, Computer Literacy and Total Wellness. English is by far one of my best subjects. On the other hand, Math is by far my worst subject! These are the required classes I have to take toward an Associates Degree. Eventually I will need these classes on my transcript in order to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. I came very close to getting into the Broward College Honors program, but unfortunately my math scores were not high enough. According to my High School Brace Advisor my reading and writing scores were off the charts!

I have a good first impression of all four of my professors. Hopefully, they will end up being quality professors. Most certainly, it is important for professors to be helpful, understanding, and personable! It appears that they are good speakers and they have personalities and sense of humors to go along with their respected teaching styles and philosophies!

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