Doug’s story: How the pandemic sidetracked college plans

Dough's Story

Doug’s story: How the pandemic sidetracked college plans

Imagine waking up one morning and looking around, and no one is there.

Doug is gifted/knowledgeable in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). His intellectual ability and early academic achievements in high school equipped him for early enrollment at a prestigious university. Some would say this is one of the benefits of autism. 

Life was good! Doug registered for five classes for 15 hours of academic credits during his sophomore year. He made friends, and the faculty were friendly and interested in him. 

He is a perfectionist. As he progressed academically, performance anxieties set in. Doug found it increasingly challenging to prioritize his academic assignments to be done on time and prepare for testing. Then the COVID pandemic struck. 

What happened to Doug next was devastating. He looked around, and no one was there for him. Classes became virtual! Personal contact and support of the faculty disappeared. His friends left the dorm for safer environments at home. He was unprepared and uncomfortable with these significant changes. Changes are highly challenging to accept for a person on the ASD. Therefore, Doug went home, too.  

With the loss of his support system, slow thought-processing skills, and underdeveloped executive functioning skills, Doug “hit a wall.”  His self-confidence shattered, he became isolated and depressed, and communication with his parents reached an impasse.

Unfortunately, Doug’s experience is typical among young adults with Autism or other neurodiverse disabilities. We believe Sedona Lago Gardens offers unique solutions to these common issues and can help young men like Doug get back on track. Each person’s goals and aspirations are important to us. Our Life Coaching model has a 1:5 coach-to-student ratio allowing us to focus on strengths and abilities and improve skills in executive functioning, social awareness, careers – life in the workplace, and daily living.

If you have a young adult with autism or other neurodiversity, reach out to Sedona Lago Gardens. Call for more information about “Pathways to Independence.”

-Gary Wagner, Founder and President of Sedona Lago Gardens.

*This is a true story. We changed the young man’s name to protect his privacy under HIPAA.