Students With Autism, Other Disabilities Have More College Options Than Ever Before | HuffPost Impact

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Students With Autism, Other Disabilities Have More College Options Than Ever Before

Justin Pope/AP
Sep. 16, 2013, 10:40 AM EDT

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — As he sits in class at Eastern Michigan University, a flood of images streams from Tony Saylor’s vibrant, creative mind down through his pen and onto paper.

Often, his doodling features the 9-year-old character Viper Girl who battles monsters with her pet fox Logan. Saylor, 22, has even self-published three books of their adventures.

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Saylor’s professors didn’t exactly welcome his constant drawing, but once he explained it was the only way he could hope to process their lectures — and even to stay awake — most let him continue.

For college students with autism and other learning disabilities, this is the kind of balancing act that takes place every day — accommodating a disability while also pushing beyond it toward normalcy and a degree, which is increasingly essential for finding a meaningful career.

But Saylor and a growing number like him are giving it a shot. Students who would once have languished at home, or in menial jobs, or struggled unsuccessfully in college, are finding a new range of options [...]

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