Answer Key: Students with Autism Go To College

Lesson Plan:  Students with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Will Attend Colleges in Massachusetts

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. decade  ˈdeˌkād, dəˈkād | noun 1 a period of ten years: he taught at the university for nearly a decade. a period of ten years beginning with a year ending in 0 (or, by another reckoning, 1): the fourth decade of the nineteenth century.
  2. break·through | ˈbrākˌTHro͞o | nouna sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development: a major breakthrough in DNA research.
  3. extracurricular ˌekstrəkəˈrikyələr |adjective (of an activity at a school or college) pursued in addition to the normal course of study: extracurricular activities include sports, drama, music, chess.
  4. transform tran(t)sˈfôrm | verb [with object] make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of: lasers have transformed cardiac surgery | he wanted to transform himself into a successful businessman.
  5. mile·stone | ˈmīlˌstōn |noun  2 an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development: the speech is being hailed as a milestone in race relations.
  6. opportunity | ˌäpərˈto͞onədē |noun (plural opportunities) a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something: we may see increased opportunities for export | the collection gives students the opportunity of reading works by well-known authors.
  7. path·way | ˈpaTHˌwā |• noun  a way of achieving a specified result; a course of action: research has indisputably been part of the pathway to progress.
  8. *Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) helps teachers, parents, and students know where students are excelling and where they need help.
  9. tran·si·tion | tranˈziSH(ə)n |noun 1 the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another: students in transition from one program to another | a period of transition | a transition to multiparty democracy.
  10. eq·ui·ta·ble | ˈekwədəb(ə)l | adjective 1 fair and impartial: an equitable balance of power. 



New Oxford American Dictionary



Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

The law will create pathways for students whose intellectual challenges have often left them stuck in high school as their classmates graduated and moved on without them. Unable to pass the state MCAS exam or gain admission to college — and unlikely to thrive there without support — many students with Down syndrome, autism, and other conditions have instead languished in isolated classrooms, facing poor employment prospects and limited social options as they wait to age out of high school at age 22.

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers 

  1. Julia Landau, director of the Disability Education Justice Initiative at Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “They have shown that they can exceed societal expectations when they’re given the same opportunities to learn.”
  2. Andrea Callahan, a longtime social worker whose son Max has autism. “It’s a generation of neurotypical college students, sitting next to students like Max in class and seeing what they come up with … that will change their viewpoint.”
  3. Max Callahan, a student with autism who enrolled at UMass Amherst in 2019. “I had been in special education groups where we were segregated, and it was hard to make your own choices.”
  4. Hannah Gold,  another UMass student, assisted Callahan as a peer mentor. “I used to feel shame about my shortcomings, and now I realize I can forge a different path and be an individual … and that is just as valuable.”
  5. Lyndsey Nunes, director since 2012 of the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative at Westfield State University.  “They often say they’ve become better professors, because they think more about different ways of learning.”
  6. Tom Sannicandro, a disability attorney and former state legislator who was among the first to fight for the new law. “It took time to explain why it benefits those with significant intellectual challenges, whose goals and successes “may not look like success for everyone else.”
  7. Brian Heffernan, 31, traces his success back to his college experience. “I wanted to go to college to get more independence and to be with friends. I think it made my life better for a bunch of reasons.”