Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Importance of Academics vs. Social Skills

Jaclyn Hunt MA, ACAS, BCCS

I believe that school systems have made a great deal of progress in how they work with students on the ASD spectrum over the last decade. However, there is still a very long way to go in terms of understanding what we need to focus on in the classroom environment for not only our ASD students but all students.  While academic ability has always been highly valued in our society, the fact is that it accounts for very little in terms of success for the future. We live in a social world and social skills are essential to navigating that world.

Everything we do requires interaction with others. If we don't have the ability to communicate with the world in some way, we suffer.  It doesn't matter how much math or science you know, if you can't communicate your talents and abilities to the world in some way you are isolated.  Communication and interaction are paramount, yet school systems continually ignore this obvious fact. Even when schools do relent and offer social skills classes I am often disappointed with the lack of complexity these classes employ.

In college, academic ability is not the number one predictor of success.  The number one predictor of success in college is the ability to ask for help when you need it.  I have many clients who did excellent academically in high school and once they entered college they became so overwhelmed with the social demands that they became paralyzed and failed out. High school does not prepare our young adults for the rigorous social demands of the real world.  ASD students master the school environment for 13 or so years and are then thrust into a completely new societal structure with little to no social preparation.  Many neuro-typical students face the same culture shock but may come off as a bit more resilient to it than those on the spectrum.

The solution is simple, create and engage social programs into all schools for all students that are diverse, complex and cover the social, cultural, and communicative needs of an individual who ventures into the real world whether it be college, the job world, or some other life adventure. If the school systems don't add this much needed service soon I'm afraid far too many students will fall through the cracks when just about all of them are capable of succeeding and far exceeding our expectations.

Life Coaching for Adults on the ASD Spectrum - ***UPDATE 2018***

Jaclyn Hunt MA, ACAS, BCCS

It has been a while since my last blog post. In that time ASN Life Coach, LLC has exploded with more clients than I can handle on my own and I, in turn, started a second company ASD Life Coaches, LLC for the growing need for specialists in the area of life skills coaching for those on the ASD Spectrum.  I have hired a growing team of professionals in the field who follow the same approach and methodology I employ in my sessions. So far it has been a great success!  For more information on ASD Life Coaches, LLC and to learn more about what we do please visit and fill out the online form for more information.  

Personally, I have advanced my credentials to an Advanced Certified Autism Specialist and Board Certified Cognitive Specialist. More information can be found on these certifications at  Furthermore, I am in the beginnings of a new project to bring skills to a much wider range of clients all over the world.  Details on this new, cutting edge program will be revealed over the next few months so stay tuned!

In the meantime, please continue to reach out to me and discuss ASD on my Facebook pages. I welcome all comments and opinions. I feel is is a wonderful forum for those who are not yet ready for our coaching services or need that sense of community.  My next blog post will discuss the importance of social skills training for children...all children, not just those on the spectrum.  

Thank you all for your continued support!  Be well.