Language & Executive Function Coaching:
Many college students with attention deficit disorder (ADHD), language/learning disorders (LD), or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) benefit from college support. For each class they take, the expectation is that they will put in more than twice as much work independently. Academic college support helps develop the learning skills needed to keep up with class assignments. From improving reading and writing skills to developing time management and other executive function skills, academic college support helps students succeed.
“…. support(ing) a smooth transition from high school to post-secondary education may prove critical in helping students succeed in the post-secondary environment, as well as preventing a host of adverse outcomes (i.e., skill loss, symptom exacerbation, and poor quality of life in adulthood). The transition to post-secondary education typically occurs during late adolescence and early adulthood, a developmental period of heightened risk for people with ASD (and ADHD). Core ASD symptoms (e.g., social and communication impairment) and daily living skills tend to plateau, or sometimes worsen, after adolescence (Smith, Maenner, & Seltzer, 2012; Taylor & Seltzer, 2010), so intervening during this period may be especially beneficial with respect to longer-term outcomes.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4927339/
Life Skills Coaching
College is more than just going to class. Part of the experience is pursuing interests, participating in groups and clubs, learning self care and making lifelong connections with peers. With a life skills coach, students learn to manage their free time, choose extracurricular activities, identify and schedule daily routines and plan and manage peer interactions.
Examples of student’s questions:
- How do you find a study partners in your classes?
- Can you ask your peers for their notes?
- How do you find people to sit with when you eat in the cafeteria?
- Is it okay to stay in your room playing video games when you are not in class?
- How do you meet people in your dorm? classes?
- How often do you need to do your laundry?
- What do you do if your class schedule doesn’t allow you time to get to the dining hall for your meals?
Becoming an independent adult requires many skills. Not only is it necessary to keep up with academic demands, but often for the first time students are required to take care of themselves and manage their own time. This can be a problem for those that have challenges with executive function skills. College support can help to bridge the gap.
Supporting the Transition from High School to College
The transition from high school to college is great. Furthermore, students are expected to manage academic work independently and for the first time care for themselves. Long on Language offers online academic college support and life skills coaching for college students. Sessions are weekly, bi weekly or may even consist of several shorter sessions to aid in generalization of skills. Weekly phone or online support focuses on helping young adults with ASD, ADHD, and LD learn to manage their academic and daily life independently.
In addition to Kai Long’s experience as a Speech-Language pathologist. She also has experience as life skills coach with Asperger’s Association of New England, and she has worked with many college-aged student on the spectrum and with ADHD.
Cortiella, Candace and Horowitz, Sheldon H. The State of Learning Disabilities: Facts, Trends and Emerging Issues. New York: National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2014 https://www.ncld.org/wpcontent/uploads/2014/11/2014-State-of-LD.pdf
Grandin, T. (1999, November). Indiana University Bloomington. Retrieved July 15, 2018, from https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/pages/Choosing-the-Right-Job-for-People-with-Autism-or-Aspergers-Syndrome
Roux, Anne M., Shattuck, Paul T., Rast, Jessica E., Rava, Julianna A., and Anderson, Kristy, A. National Autism Indicators Report: Transition into Young Adulthood. Philadelphia, PA: Life Course Outcomes Research Program, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University, 2015.
White, S. W., Elias, R., Salinas, C. E., Capriola, N., Conner, C. M., Asselin, S. B., . . . Getzel, E. E. (2016, September). Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in College: Results from a Preliminary Mixed Methods. Retrieved July 15, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4927339/