How Asperger’s Complicates One Teen’s Search for the Perfect College

Jordan, Debbie, and Todd Schmidt. Courtesy of the Schmidt family
Jordan Schmidt, 17, is a high school junior set to graduate in 2014. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was five years old. His parents, Debbie, 48, and Todd, 46, are in the midst of helping him find the right college. The family lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

What kind of college we’re looking for.
Jordan: I don’t want it to be too big. It’s a social thing—if there are too many people, then I might be a little overwhelmed, or it might be too big of an experience. I also really want the school to have decent enough weather, small enough class sizes and a good film department with screenwriting.
Debbie: We’re going to fine tune our search to find schools that are close in proximity [to our home] and have what he wants. And eventually, it’s going to get to a point where it becomes a financial decision too.
Todd: That said, if he falls in love with a college that’s four hours away, but it’s the place where he has the best opportunity and where he feels the most comfortable—an it makes sense financially—then we’re going to give it a shot.

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