The Aspie College, Work & Travel Survival Guide by J.D. Kraus

Posted in Autism/Aspergers, Reviews, Special Needs Teens by - May 03, 2017
The Aspie College, Work & Travel Survival Guide  by J.D. Kraus

Do you have an autistic teen transitioning from high school soon? Are YOU this young, aspie adult stepping out into the world? Are you worried your child with autism who is approaching adulthood needs more support and information to plan his future? The team at Special Needs Book Review has a great autism book to recommend The Aspie College, Work & Travel Survival Guide by J.D. Kraus.

This is J. D. Kraus’ second publication. In 2010 he wrote his first autism book, The Aspie Teen’s Survival Guide – Advice on Asperger’s for Tweens, Teens, and ParentsThis first book was written during his last year of high school. It won the Foreword Magazine’s BOOK OF THE YEAR award.

If your autistic youth has not read the first book yet, he surely will benefit from reading it now. The Aspie Teen’s Survival Guide covers most topics that are a thorn in the lives of youth with high functioning autism. It is a resource book autistic teens and family members can refer to often and easily to find solutions and explanations. You will find the well-organized chapters with precise titles and a detailed index make this a handy book for the aspie teen or to give to teachers, family members or friends who could benefit from Kraus’ sound and sage advice. Read our review of this first book.

About The Aspie College, Work & Travel Survival Guide

Transitioning into a new environment is frightening for everyone. Mr. Kraus, an Aspie himself, says “For people with autism, the anxiety of entering an unknown atmosphere is exponentially terrifying.” However, by being prepared and ready to be on your own many positive things are possible. This book is not intended to tell the reader what to do with his life. Rather, its focus is on helping them transition, prepare, and hopefully succeed in whatever their future endeavors may prove to be, primarily higher education and work.

The main focus of The Aspie College, Work & Travel Survival Guide is on the transition from high school to your next important steps in life. Big decisions have to be made and what the teen aspie decides ultimately affects the rest of his life.

The book analyzes three important points.

  • The first one covers higher education. Will he go to college? Should he choose to attend a community college, technical school, or university? The book goes into detail on the steps in enrolling for a school, campus life versus daily commuting, teachers, school surroundings, organizing system to manage class papers, study tips and time management, disability services, and more. Chapter 5 is all about college transfers and changing majors. Other chapters tell you about budgeting and buying food, the importance of making and keeping friends and finding yourself some downtime.
  • The next point explores the workforce and how an individual with autism can prepare for employment. This section includes: résumé building, job hunting and interview tips, commuting, managing money, and networking.
  • The final point reviews basic tips on traveling domestically and internationally, including how to pack, choosing an airline, what to bring, and how to behave and dress in a foreign country.

J.D. Kraus has crammed valuable tips in this 225 page book. He touches on numerous Aspie traits. Some are advantages and a some are disadvantages. Aspies are very disciplined about attendance, promptness, and preparedness and these are usually good characteristics. But being too obsessed with class assignments and GPA scores can be detrimental to ones well being. Autistic students would be better off if they can learn to accept that grades are not everything in life.

The following are samples of the numerous tips to make the transition to adulthood easier:

  • Learn to advocate for yourself.
  • College is all about self-reliance and guidance; you either paddle of sink.
  • Aspies often want to resolve problems alone. Parents must show them the value of team work. No one can be his own island. We have to rely on others to succeed.
  • Adapt your class note taking strategies to the material being taught.
  • In class or lecture rooms, sit in the first row so you have fewer distractions.
  • Know that difficulties in social interactions can be brought on by not being able to read subtleties of personalities and body language.
  • Be aware that autistics have problems identifying sarcasm.

One feature we love in this book are the “Note to Parents” at the end of many chapters. The following is an excerpt of such a note titled “Your Child Can Be Destined To Great Things” page 220
As I have made abundantly clear in some of the previous chapters, do not coddle your child. He has to learn to do things on his own, otherwise he will be stuck at home.  The hope is for him to move on.  If your child is more severely burdened with autism, this may not be in the cards.  In that case, you will need to find an alternative strategy on living accommodations that fit his needs.

Call me naïve, but I think with the right care and treatment your Aspie child can do anything he wishes. I have come to accept my Asperger’s as a gift instead of a burden. This perspective has not only changed my outlook in life, but also my desires for personal, educational, and career success. This positive mindset will set your AS child on the path to wonderful accomplishments. Encourage and prod him towards victory. You may be surprised what he achieves on his own.


J.D. Kraus the author of The Aspie College, Work & Travel Survival Guide J.D. Kraus was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in the fourth grade. J.D. is a University of Cincinnati graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media. Hef works in the content marketing fields and freelances as a writer, photographer, and videographer.

On his web site Mr. Kraus wrote: “Aside from having a passion with video production, photography, and animation, I am also an award-winning published author of the books The Aspie Teen’s Survival Guide and The Aspie College, Work, and Travel Survival. These books are a guide for young person’s with Asperger’s Syndrome and other Autistic-related disorders. You may wonder why I would write a book on such a topic. Well, a long time ago, I was diagnosed with high-functioning Autism. Over the years, I have more or less grown out of being an “Aspie.” I have molded into my own person. I drive, have a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, work full-time and do some occasional freelance work on the side. Most of all, I try to inspire people. Asperger’s is not a label. You are a person. Your actions are what Review of The Aspie Teen’s Survival Guide: Candid Advice for Teens, Tweens, and Parents, from a Young Man with Asperger’s Syndrome by J. D. Krausdefine you.”

Contact Information: Web site

Read Also:  Review of  The Aspie Teen’s Survival Guide: Candid Advice for Teens, Tweens, and Parents, from a Young Man with Asperger’s Syndrome by J. D. Kraus

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This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.