Atypical (S2): Transitioning to college is hard for everyone, not just for the autistic

Sam, the main character in the Netflix special “Atypical” has autism. And in the second season of the show, he is a high school senior who struggles to figure out if he wants to go to college, and even after he makes that decision; where? For instance: his younger sister Kacey birthday is in one episode and as a pair, they always do her birthday traditions.

You might be asking what does this have to do with transitioning to college but it does, he struggles with breaking traditions and he gets awkward when the mom invites a lot of friends of hers over for her birthday. He tries to do what he always does and play the game Ickle Bickle with her. She wants no part of the game and states that it’s ok to break tradition.

College, on the other hand, is a perfect scenario where he has to break tradition and create new traditions: like sleeping away for the first time. He tries to do this for the first time but he ends up walking home in the middle of the night from his friends snoring, amongst other sounds in the new bedroom. He only makes it until 12:07 am where his friend helps him out of the police station.

All these simple things affect those with autism, but also for nonautistic 17 and 18-year-olds, it marks a transition for them. I remember feeling the same sort of jitters after going away from my family for the first time, falling asleep in a lonely dorm room with just me.

Atypical is a great story about what autistic children go through during their lives every day and what we neurotypicals can learn from when they encounter a person or a friend with autism.

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-Nick Sutherland

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