Resources for

Families & Students

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Adult Education & Literacy

The mission of Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) is to provide specialized instruction to help students build or refresh basic academic skills necessary for success by offering assistance in areas such as the improvement of English as a second language, preparation for the Missouri high school equivalence (HSE) exams and post-secondary training or facilitation in the transition to higher education and employment. Both day and evening classes are available. Classes are FREE and the courses are tailored to meet each individual’s unique needs. Students are individually assessed and learning plans are created.

OTC Adult Education and Literacy – OTC Adult Education and Literacy

Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Because of the unique communication needs of Deaf & hard of hearing students, there is a Deaf Education Specialist available at OTC to help serve this population of students in setting up appropriate accommodations, providing resources to students, and facilitating trainings for instructors.

Some common accommodations for Deaf students include (but not limited to): sign language interpreter, closed captioning, note-taking assistance, live transcription or CART services, and extended time on exams.

An additional resource is National Deaf Center. There you can find many free courses, tip sheets, and research findings related to Deaf students and post-secondary outcomes. These resources are for students, parents, instructors, and other professionals in the Disability field. There is even a game that students can play to help them learn how to better navigate college experiences through “choose your own adventure” style!



A serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impacts the nervous system. The range and severity of symptoms can vary widely. Common symptoms include difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions, obsessive interests, and repetitive behaviors. Early recognition, as well as behavioral, educational, and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning.


What are the 3 Main Signs of Autism? 

Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can manifest as different symptoms in different children. The average age of diagnosis is 2 years, though some children may be detected at around the age of 5 years.

The symptoms to look out for in children for suspected autism are:

  • Delayed milestones
  • A socially awkward child
  • The child who has trouble with verbal and nonverbal communication     READ MORE


What are some ways I can be more prepared for college if I am on the spectrum? 

Around one-third of young people with autism now attend college. This is a far cry from just a decade ago, when postsecondary education for young adults on the spectrum was widely considered unattainable. Steps you can take: Prepare for college, Choose your path, Ask the important questions… You can read more of this article at

This Educational Guide is another tool that can help you and your family explore the different opportunities and learning environments after leaving high school. Check it out.

Help For Neuro-divergent Students – Resources/Apps/Info that can help students on the Spectrum.

Navigating College for Autistic Students

This book is a resource for Autistic college students written by Autistic adults. It was funded as part of a grant for the creation of the Autism NOW Resource and Information Center.  Table of Contents includes:

Foreword – Introduction – Worth – Accommodation – Housing – Health and Safety – Advocacy – Social Life – Index

Navigating College: A Handbook on Self Advocacy Written for Autistic Students from Autistic Adults.pdf

Autism: Use Your voice

Student with Nonspeaking Autism Urges Fellow Graduates to ‘Use Your Voice’ in Powerful Speech
“God gave you a voice. Use it,” valedictorian Elizabeth Bonker told the class of 2022 at Rollins College

Read in People:

Mental Health Guide for
Autistic College Students

Infograph Table of Contents:

What can I do to promote my well-being?
What can I do if I am overwhelmed?
When should I seek help?
Why should I seek mental health services?
What can mental health services provide for me?
What types of services exist?
How do I access services?
What problems or barriers might I encounter?
What should I say when contacting a service?
What can parents do to help?
Additional Resources

Mental Health Guide for Autistic College Students

Please feel free to share the infographic with anyone who may benefit. We ask that people not download and share the PDF in their networks, as the links allow OAR to be able to track number of downloads (no other info is requested or tracked to d/l). However, if internet or PDF-format presents an issue for accessibility, then please do what is needed for the person to have access!

There is also a text-only version for those who may find the graphics too distracting; it can be downloaded here:

Text-Only Version

This resource was developed by a team at Rutgers University as part of an OAR-funded project. Content was informed by a few small focus groups with autistic students in college and/or grad school and some of their parents, as well as experiences gathered from a study with autistic students. Content was assembled and edited by a team comprised of graduate students, staff, faculty/clinicians, several who identify as on the spectrum or neurodiverse.

We hope this will be helpful to some students and families.

Vanessa H. Bal, PhD

Karmazin and Lillard Chair in Adult Autism
Associate Professor
Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Post Secondary Education Opportunities for Students with Autism

This guide is designed to help you and your family explore the different opportunities and learning
environments after leaving high school. With only about one third of youth with autism attending college in
young adulthood*, Autism Speaks wants to offer the best possible resources on this topic to help you explore all
of the various options available to you.
Throughout this guide, you will find information from experts in the field and those working in various
learning institutions to help give you an inside look into different postsecondary programs. You will also find
information on topics such as how to obtain services, advice for parents, peer to peer advice, life on campus and
the differences between college and high school. We hope this resource will help guide you through your high
school years and the years following graduation.

Postsecondary Guide-Autism.pdf