As a professional, I think higher functioning autists benefit from trying to do what they want to do by setting goals and working towards them. If they are going to fall short, it is better for them to learn it for themselves instead of having parents or counselors tell them they will fail. That could be balanced with good questions that show some reality for the student who wants to be a brain surgeon, but can't seem to even attend community college classes consistently. Let them have ownership but don't let them fall too hard in learning life lessons. The next thing to look at is to find the highest possible functioning setting for them that has the right supports to maximize success and minimize destructive scenarios. If they are smart enough, but can't manage the social scene away at college, they could have a horrible experience and not be willing to try college again, or even be targeted and victimized. It is hard to find the right setting for schools since they are typically not set up to deal with social and emotional issues. Private is expensive, and only larger populated areas can afford to have specialized public schools. After high school it is even more difficult to find the right fit and it is usually very expensive. www.spectrumcareers.com, local social work agencies, www.techieforlife.com, or www.strugglingteens.com can be good resources.