Support Services

High School:
My high school district ran a transitions program for students with disabilities. I participated in the program in my first year of college. I had a adviser that helped me register for classes, learn about and utilize services, and many other things. Meanwhile, I lived at home with my parents. I was not ready to live on my own; I did not have the skills or confidence. I spent my time outside of class volunteering, primarily at the VA hospital.

College:
For one year I participated in a college program for students with disabilities. The program provides primarily social skills development, academic support, and independent living skills development plus career development. I only needed help on the social skills and career development. I had a social adviser and went on scheduled social outings a few times a week including going to dinner, the movies, game night, etc. I had a mentor and participated in group sessions. I also worked with a career adviser.

All the students lived in apartments with a roommate. There are two resident advisers that live in the same apartment complex. My roommate experience was horrible. My roommate was manipulative, deceptive, controlling, and charismatic. Seven months after we became roommates I had a emotional breakdown and became depressed and suicidal. My parents intervened. I got my own apartment and I went in for counseling.

The college program was very much a love-hate relationship. I learned a lot and developed my social skills. I developed many friendships. Despite all the good it came at a cost. I was much higher functioning than most of the students. The staff often assumed I needed help on something but I did not. When they realized that I was doing great they assumed that I did not need help. So when I did need help, they would not believe me.

Post College:
I have made a lot of progress over the years. As a result I have not needed support services like the programs in high school and college. I do a lot of self help including advocating for myself, reading articles/books, and talking to people with experience in disability. The only professional help I am receiving is psychological counseling every few months.

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