Difficulty making friends, low grades in school and quarrels with parents.
This was the stuff of Samantha Botts life throughout most of elementary, middle and high school.
“I was mostly a C student and didn’t feel very good about myself,” said the 20-year-old aspiring artist and graphic designer who goes by Sam.
It wasn’t until Sam got to college that she found out in part what was driving her lack of achievement, connection and pride: Autism.
Sam said the diagnosis “put things together” in ways no other diagnosis or medical advice over the years could. For one of the first times in her life, she felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel. So when Sam started struggling academically after her first two semesters of community college, she and her parents knew they needed help.
That’s when they turned to Wilmington-based Transitions Foundation of North Carolina (TFNC).
Through a personalized, Autism Spectrum Disorder-specific curriculum, Sam learned how to better plan, prepare and manage her course load. TFNC teachers and program directors Monica Herrick and Meredith Moates – both veteran teachers specializing in autism – provided in-and-out-of-class support, helping Sam build her academic, communications and social skills toolbox.
In practically no time Sam’s grades were on the upswing.
“Before I started working with Transitions Foundation, I was losing my way. It has changed my perspective. I can do it, I will do it. I will succeed, even if I have to do it in itty-bitty ways.”
I like the Transitions Foundation for several reasons. One being that they help me to reduce stress by helping me organize not only my time but also my work to help me be successful. Another reason being that they provide the support I need with my social skills in and out of the class. Third they have very nice staff members. Finally they help other students including myself get through college.