College When You Are Autistic And Not Academic

My oldest leaves school in a few short months and school and studies haven't been the easiest ride for him. This ha left us wondering what college would look like for him, as you are now required by law to stay in education till 18 unless you are employed. We all agreed that an educational type course such as A levels wouldn't be appropriate for L, he isn't the most academic, so we looked at alternatives. His go-to person at school suggested a course that our local college offers that is more tailored to his needs.

He attended an interview last week and has been offered a place on a course called routes, there are 3 different types of routes courses, routes to employment, routes to skills and routes to education. They are all confidence based courses specially scaffolded and supported for children with EHCP's. He will do various types of confidence buildings, learning life skills, shopping, paying bills, cv building, interview practises and various work experience placements. This course will be for one year and provide a stepping stone and the skills that he will need for the longer term plan which is a supported internship.

He can officially start a supported internship when he is 17, I feel from speaking with his key person that a few of the routes courses will step him in good sted. So he may even do routes for 2 years and then go on the internship programme when he is 18. The supported internship will see him at college 1 day a week and in a work environment 4 days a week. It will be fully supported and the employers in the programme are fully aware of supporting their needs.

When we started researching options for L we were surprised at the options he had as someone who didn't to just want to do a standard A level course. We are all happy with his choice and he is so looking forward to a new challenge. He is most excited about independent travel, college lunches and only having to attend 3 days a week!! These are obviously all things that concern me as an autism parent LOL The independent travel is the most concerning as he will be getting a bus aline and walking to college down the main road. We have over the course of his high school education taught him road safety and he crosses a busy small road to get the school. His new college, however, involves crossing a busy motorway junction and slip road. We plan to do some trips with him in the summer holidays to get him used to the route he will take. There is traffic lights which gives me a little peace of mind but I know I will be sat worrying until he gets home each day.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

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