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By Paul Nelson

September 26th, 2011 @ 7:35am

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The transition from high school into being part of “the real world” can be hard for most people. It can be overwhelming for kids with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. But, a new support group is trying to change that.

 

Young adults with these disorders struggle for a number of reasons. Judith Zimmerman with the Jordan Family Education Center says they live in a literal world and don’t have the social skills many of us take for granted.

 

“Maybe their communication skills are poor. They have difficulty maintaining eye contact. Those things don’t go over well,” she said.

 

She says these social problems can keep someone with either of these disorders from finding a job or dating, and they can become overwhelmed, feeling like a failure.

 

“Some kids get frustrated and angry, but I do see a lot of them withdrawing to mom’s basement and hanging out there and just being OK with that,” Zimmerman said. “Then, they don’t have to deal with these problems. As a parent, that’s not what you want to see.”

 

The Jordan School District offers classes that help elementary and middle school students. But Zimmerman says many parents wanted more.

 

“The request came out of the parents’ needs, saying, ‘Gee, too bad you don’t offer something for my kid who just graduated from high school but continues to struggle.”

 

Read in Full:

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=17376268&nid=148



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