By Grainne Butler
I did not sit the traditional Leaving Certificate. Instead, I sat the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA). Going onto higher education after the LCA is not an option unless you do a Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) course first. This was one of the reasons why I decided to do a PLC. My age and the fact that I did not fully know what I wanted to do were the other reasons why I chose to do a PLC. When I complete this year’s studies, I can continue to do a second year of college or leave and start looking for work.
The PLC course has help me in several ways. My confidence has grown as I am studying with people of different ages and I am also studying subjects that require me to engage with others in a practical way. I have learnt to touch type and am studying subjects like Microsoft Word and Excel in detail. All these things will help me when entering the world of work.
I have enjoyed several things so far. I like the fact that I am taking my computer skills to a more advanced level. Apart from the work on my course I like meeting new people and making friends. It is a little more difficult given the situation with COVID-19. Thanks to Zoom the breakout rooms and WhatsApp we can still see each other and chat and share learning and support each other.
What I would say to other autistic people is to find out what supports are available to you in your college. Keep a diary and write down deadlines. Plan out when you will get things done. Stay in touch with people on the course. Stay on top of things and do not stress too much. This will help make it more enjoyable and help you get the most out of the course.