Success in college life and beyond starts with preparation and practice. Dr. Linda Murdock's book, "Improving Your College Experience: A Workbook for Students on the Autism Spectrum", provides both, thereby empowering young autistic adults to take control, improve self-esteem and make the transition to independence. Students will find that independence does not mean doing everything alone, but includes the ability to use all the resources and supports around you.
This book is designed as a workbook-style curriculum that serves as the basis for a weekly support group, social skills group, or life skills group. The book is set up in small chapters that can be read rapidly so that it does not interfere with coursework. Because each chapter is a stand-alone reference on a particular topic, students and group leaders can choose to read the entire book or only select chapters. The chapters all begin with a set of quick rules and end with comprehension checks or application-based worksheets.
Full of quick tips and rules, the chapters cover topics such as: using campus resources, buying or renting textbooks, choosing a major, meeting with your academic advisor, making a schedule, budgeting, car maintenance and responsibilities, classroom protocols, using the library, gym, and cafeteria, dorm and apartment living, conflicts with roommates, health and hygiene practices, time management, study tips, making friends, staying out of trouble, safety, and dating advice.
Beyond its intended use, this workbook could be adapted for other student populations, parent use, and even for young adults who are not college-bound but are preparing for increased independence via other paths.
About the Author
Dr. Murdock is a Speech-Language Pathologist, Professor, and Chair of the Communication Science and Disorders department at the University of Montevallo. She teaches courses in research methodology, clinical methodology, literacy, special education, language disorders, and Autism. Dr. Murdock joined the faculty at the University of Montevallo in 2002. She has extensive experience as a pediatric speech-language pathologist serving children with autism, language, and speech disorders. At Montevallo, she has coordinated and led support groups for college students on the autism spectrum. These experiences served as the inspiration for this book. She currently serves on the editorial board of Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities and has published her research in this journal and in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. She has presented extensively at State and National Conferences over the last 15 years. Her research and clinical practice centers on play and language interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders and language and literacy disorders in school-age children. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a license to practice from the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.