Autism Spectrum Disorder
All I’ve wanted since high school was to have a girlfriend. In my senior year, I thought this girl wanted to date me because she would smile at me when we passed in the hall. So, I started to message her on social media. She never answered, so I thought the messages were not going through. I didn’t know her phone number so I thought I would just message more so she would know I wanted to ask her out. I didn’t understand, though, when she started to ignore me at school. Then the principal called my parents and me into his office and told us that the girl and her parents had complained about me. They said I was “harassing” her by texting so many times. The principal said I had misunderstood the girl’s “intentions”, and that she was just trying to be nice since most of the kids in school were so mean to me. I really didn’t understand. Why couldn’t I read her or other kids or pick up on other ways people communicate with each other? It’s not as if I didn’t have other problems. I didn’t have any friends. I was depressed and anxious and felt isolated and lonely most of the time. After my problem at school, my parents called an educational consultant for ideas about programs for me.
I chose Calo Young Adults because I met some students who had similar problems when I interviewed. I think just living with others, some who are on the spectrum like me and some who are not, will help teach me some social skills and give me opportunities to get feedback and to learn from others my age how to get along better. I also plan to take a class at the local university next semester. I’m smart, and I can manage school and I think that spending time with college students can give me more chances to get it right. I just need to remember what the staff says about being patient with myself and moving slowly as I begin to learn how young adults my age communicate. I am so far behind my peers, but I am trying not to stay stuck with that thought. Thinking that way only makes me feel down. The good news is that I am learning some skills to change the way I see the world, and that those new ways of thinking make me feel better!
Individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who enroll at Calo Young Adults do not present with intellectual impairment. In fact, many students test average or above average on assessments of cognitive ability. Typically, social interactions have been severely impaired. Opportunities to observe and communicate with peers and to receive constructive feedback, with staff support, is a critical component of treatment at Calo Young Adults. Together with therapy that addresses possible co-morbid diagnoses that can include General Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depression, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with accompanying executive functioning deficits, the safe environment at Calo Young Adults can offer a student on the Spectrum opportunities to form friendships and support systems not thought possible prior to enrolling in the program. When placed in a milieu with caring and empathetic staff and peers whose social skills may be better developed, an individual on the Spectrum has a significantly greater opportunity to participate and learn from social communication and social interaction.
For additional information about the treatment of General Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depression, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at Calo Young Adults, please contact Admissions.
last modified: July 16th, 2018