While Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, not a learning disability, symptoms like sensory processing and non-verbal communication issues can affect school anxiety and performance. Children on the spectrum face a significant amount of challenges in a traditional school setting because of a lack of understanding and support. While they may not be making bad grades, social difficulties may contribute to negative school experiences. Advocating for your autistic teens’ academic needs is extremely important in creating a chance for a brighter, happier future.
Common School Struggles may include:
- Moving at a different pace than other students
- Struggling to vocalize academic needs and ask for help
- Making connections between information and seeing the bigger picture
- Hyperfocused on special interests, disengaged in other subjects
- Boredom and restlessness
- Problems with organization, time management, problem-solving, handwriting
- Overstimulated by loud noises, crowded, disorganized information
- Difficulty participating in and following group conversations
Advocating For Your Autistic Teen’s Academic Needs: Four Ideas
- Communicate openly with them and their school. Including your child in meetings with teachers and professionals may help them feel more comfortable in giving input, understanding their plan, and building relationships with their school support system. Be direct about specific areas they are struggling with and suggest things that have helped in the past.
- Emphasize their strengths. It is important to reassure your child that they can succeed inside and out of the classroom. Help them recognize their own strengths and boost their confidence.
- Encourage them to get involved in things they are passionate about and learn more about their interests. Let them take initiative in exploring their interests and provide structure at home to help them feel secure and supported.
- Look for other resources. Build your own support system. Reach out to professionals and teachers to stay involved in their progress and educate yourself about future obstacles they may face through reading books and getting involved in support groups to connect with other families. It is common for parents fo feel helpless when their child is struggling academically, having meltdowns based on sensory overload, or being bullied in school. Residential programs with individualized academics can help your teen thrive in and out of the classroom.
Individualized Academic Support
Traditional schools that offer standardized academics often don’t have the resources to pay attention to every students’ individual needs. As every student learns differently and comes to our program at a different stage of their education, we offer them the chance to stay on track academically. We focus on teaching teens to develop a strong foundation of study skills and to learn how to stay regulated and advocate for their own needs in a classroom setting.
Our accredited academic program is based on an independent study model where students finish coursework with the help of personal tutors when necessary. As teens with autism often learn better by doing, our experiential approach involves applying skills they’ve learned in the classroom to developing relationships with peers and mentors and participating in a variety of recreation activities.
Discover Seven Stars Can Help
Seven Stars RTC is a small treatment program for young men and women ages 13-17 struggling with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The program provides acute care stabilization, residential treatment, academic programs, adventure-based therapy, skill-building, and positive psychology. These various programs and therapies help students to improve their confidence, self-awareness, and emotion regulation. Seven Stars provides students with individualized access to the resources they need to transition to the real-world practicing healthier habits and self-control.
Contact us at 844-601-1167. We can help your family today!
Since 2003, Dr. Gordon Day has passionately helped young people with a wide range of family, emotional, social, neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. Gordon’s mission has been to help people find their strengths and their own passion for living a full and rewarding life. He is particularly sensitive to the pressures, frustrations and disappointments that adolescents face that can sometimes cause them and their loved ones to want to withdraw and throw their hands up in despair.
Dr. Day knows that you really have to understand where a student is coming from and understand their patterns of strengths and needs. When we truly know an individual and their struggles, only then can we truly help.
Dr. Day has pioneered the use of outdoor therapy activities and outdoor living as a dynamic and effective therapeutic tool for learning, confidence building and skill building. His programs provide effective, supportive and encouraging environments that help students find their strengths and power.