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Attending College with Social Communication Deficit - Part 2

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At an early age James* was diagnosed with ADHD and General Anxiety Disorder. After struggling to succeed in a public school setting, he attended a private high school where he was able to complete his studies in 4 years and graduate with his class in the spring of 2016.

Following graduation, he decided to pursue a lifelong dream of attending college, studying Computer Science to support his growing interest in computer programming. As part of his preparation for the transition from HighSchool to College, James took part in the NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living program at Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston, MA. Designed specifically for students, ages 16-20, who present with a social communication deficit and are serious about attending college after high school, NEXT STEP consists of three Saturday day-long sessions throughout the academic year, as well as a week-long overnight dormitory experience based at Boston College.

James and his mother were willing to share their experiences with freelance health and wellness writer, Jeffrey Hodnett, in hopes that they can encourage other children with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, or related learning differences to consider higher education after graduation. Part 1 tells of James’ first-hand experiences and in part 2 we focus on his mother’s perspective of the first year away at college.

*names have been changed to protect privacy

For more information, call us at (617) 278-4119 or email nextstep@jbcc.harvard.edu.