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The Misdirected College Student

Introduction:

I am a recent college graduate from La Salle University with a BA in Digital Arts and Multimedia Design. I was diagnosed in 2012 with Asperger’s Syndrome, which was later changed to autism.

Challenge:

Before I was introduced to Mr. Davis, I had a terrible time in college while I was attempting a double major in Biology and Mathematics. I found myself completely burnt out and ended up failing a few classes which set my GPA back two full points. I always thought I’d enjoy Biology because it was my favorite thing, and now I was confused.

Solution:   

I took a gap year as a break from my education. During that time, my parents and I were introduced to Mr. Davis and we took the Comfort Career Audit together. I found it to be very engaging, that it looked complex but was simple, and gave me many career options that were relevant for my future.

The questionnaire consisted of questions ranging from overall to highly specific, and the end result provided us with my most favored interests and a list of jobs that the Harrison Assessment believed would be my “Next Step Jobs” for the future. I found that I was actually very interested in art, and my list of career options proved this fact.

Outcome:

Many of the jobs I liked involved aspects of art that I didn’t know existed until my Audit pointed them out. Afterward, I re-entered my education, dropped my dual major, and focused on Digital Arts and Multimedia Design. Suffice to say, I am now a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in a great major, and I am happy that I made the switch so early in my career.

Team Member’s Perspective: Written by James’ mother

When James was in the seventh grade, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (called mild autism today). The Archdiocese school James attended did not have IEPs but I researched his disability to get him all the help I could. James excelled in every class without any major accommodations. 

James wanted to attend high school outside the Archdiocese and was accepted into a blue ribbon school in the state of Pennsylvania, Central High School. James did very well until he reached the 11th grade when his grades started to decline.

James was accepted to 3 colleges and decided to attend LaSalle University where he was offered a dual scholarship in math and biology. This meant that he needed to complete 36 credits in his first year of college. He had done well in these classes in high school so this plan made sense. 

Unfortunately, the course load and not disclosing his ASD took its toll, and, after his first year, James became overwhelmed, stressed, and depressed. He stopped school and began seeing a therapist and that’s when we were referred to Rich.

Rich provided an affordable program of private coaching and vocational assessment. His Comfort Career Audit helped James, me, and his father envision more comfortable career options. I’m proud that James was able to go back to LaSalle and now has his bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and Multimedia, a field he had never seriously thought of before, but loves.

Rich is patient, resourceful, and innovative. His understanding of people with invisible disabilities is outstanding. Today, Rich is coaching James to search for his first professional job and James is working as an intern Graphic Designer for Comfort Career Connections. Rich has helped James see that everyone has different strengths and challenges and that his unique individuality makes him a great candidate.

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