College-level academics are attainable for many young adults with high functioning autism, but throw in the social skills necessary to navigate a campus environment and roadblocks begin to form. Now, a unique program is helping students break down such barriers.

Students at the College Internship Program, which is offered for those with autism spectrum disorders at four campuses across the country, live together in two-bedroom apartments as they take classes and learn independent living skills.

Each day begins with a class to review expectations for the day. Students also meet twice a week with their adviser to talk about their assignments, any tests or projects on the horizon and to discuss how to manage their time appropriately. The week is capped off with a Friday happy hour where students learn to mingle.

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Students often start out taking just one or two courses, but many ultimately complete four-year college degrees. Along the way, they also learn the basics like cooking, cleaning and managing money, while gaining confidence.

All this doesn’t come cheap. The College Internship Program — which is offered in Massachusetts, Indiana, California and Florida — costs $30,000 to $40,000 a year, reports the Orlando Sentinel. To read more click here.

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