Development of a College Transition and Support Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Susan W. White*, Rebecca Elias, Nicole N. Capriola-Hall, Isaac C. Smith, Caitlin M. Conner, Susan B. Asselin, Patricia Howlin, Elizabeth E. Getzel, Carla A. Mazefsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Empirically based, consumer-informed programming to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) transitioning to college is needed. Informed by theory and research, the Stepped Transition in Education Program for Students with ASD (STEPS) was developed to address this need. The first level (Step 1) supports high school students and the second level (Step 2) is for postsecondary students with ASD. Herein, we review the extant research on transition supports for emerging adults with ASD and describe the development of STEPS, including its theoretical basis and how it was informed by consumer input. The impact of STEPS on promotion of successful transition into college and positive outcomes for students during higher education is currently being evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3072-3078
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number10
Early online date6 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Adult
  • Autism
  • College
  • Transition


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