I came across the website of an organization by the name of AHEADD – Achieving in Higher Education with Autism/Developmental Disabilities. Although my two are young, only five and seven, I often think to the future. Will they want to go to college? Will they be able to go to college? Will they succeed in college? The good thing is that these are parents of children without a developmental disability also ask themselves.
The mission statement of AHEADD states:
Mission – Individualized and Ongoing Support
Currently, accommodations in higher education lack consideration of characteristics that affect the ability of certain students to achieve their potential. While college accommodation plans provide excellent in-class assistance, students with Learning Disabilities, ASDs, AS, NVLD, and ADD require far more comprehensive, individualized, and ongoing support to address difficulties in the areas of organization, social skills, and communication. AHEADD’s mission is to establish and maintain best practices which fill this void in a manner that
respects students as adults, complements the traditional college accommodations plan, and maximizes use of existing campus resources.
As AHEADD grows to meet the needs of a growing number of students across the country, it will continue to set the standard for exemplary support of exceptional students. We also intend to provide this support in consideration of families’ financial burden.
AHEADD currently charges a fee of $4200 – $5350 per student, per semester. We consistently research and pursue opportunities to reduce the out-of-pocket cost for our clients. In addition to securing public and private subsidies for our clients, AHEADD families can reduce the tuition costs by utilizing an FSA and a tax credit available to cover educational costs related to students with disabilities. We continue to petition universities and governmental organizations for funding and believe that these sources of funding may ultimately sustain the support provided through AHEADD.
For more information, visit the AHEADD website.