Fauquier Now: Yes, those with autism can succeed in college

April 1, 2019

Veronica Brown of Delaplane is grateful “to finally have the chance to be a grownup.” At 22, the junior at George Mason University lives on campus, attends classes, has an exciting internship, and is having tons of fun as a Mason Patriot. She’s also learning to cook, budget her money and keep up with other tasks of “adulting.” Veronica has Down syndrome and a tertiary diagnosis of autism.

When Veronica graduates from the Learning into Future Environments (LIFE) program at Mason, she will receive a certificate of completion in the areas of theater and music. She attends classes with her LIFE classmates, but is also enrolled in some traditional undergraduate courses, for which she’s accompanied by an aide. Her favorite classes are Greek history, American history, and the Renaissance. “I want to learn different perspectives,” she said.

Veronica also has an internship in the nation’s capital. She and other LIFE students take the metro to work in government offices in D.C. where she scans papers, does data entry and other computer work, organizes bills and shreds papers. “I love it!” she said.

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