It was probably unheard of 20 or more years ago to send an individual with Down syndrome to college. With more supports in place, awareness and opportunities these days, I'm not surprised that some colleges have opened their doors to people with Down syndrome. In fact, I am elated that this opportunity for higher education exists for Matthew.
One of my sister-in-laws shared an online article with me recently - "More intellectually disabled youths go to college". It states "That growth is partly because of an increasing demand for higher education for these students and there are new federal funds for such programs." I hope the demand keeps up and the funds are not taken away by naysayers like Charlotte Allen, who is mentioned in the article. (Boo to you, Charlotte Allen!)
Googling "college down syndrome", I found:
Post-High School Options for People with Down Syndrome - list on the National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS) website.
ClemsonLIFE Program at Clemson University - designed for students with intellectual disabilities who desire a postsecondary experience on a college campus.
Think College - College options for people with intellectual disabilities.
Shepherds College - leading post-secondary educational program for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
I'm sure there are many other available programs. Please comment if you know of any more.
Matthew is 3 years old and just entering preschool. Who knows what his level of abilities will be when he's older? How interested will he be in school? But it is so nice to know that these doors to further education are unlocked and open. So, should Matthew graduate from high school and want to continue more formal education, he can! If he wants to work right after high school, he can too! I love thinking of possibilities.
As Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story says, "To infinity...and beyond!"