Applying to College for Asperger's students

The College Search for Students with Asperger's

College-bound students with Asperger's syndrome face special challenges. Educational psychologist Jane McClure joins us this month to discuss those challenges and how they can be met successfully. Read on for her advice about college visits, easing the transition from high school for such students and more:

You have probably heard the term “Asperger’s” since the diagnosis has become increasingly common over the last ten years.  Asperger’s syndrome (or Asperger disorder) is an autism spectrum disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests, according to experts James McPartland and Ami Klin. Physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language may also be present.   It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of language and cognitive development and is sometimes described as “high functioning autism.”


Many students diagnosed with Asperger’s are very bright and are eager to attend college.  But they may have struggled at various times throughout their academic careers with behavioral, social, organizational or other issues.  Some students continue to have a very rough time during high school, while others have gained an understanding by that time of how they are “different” from other students and have learned how to cope with their uniqueness.