Students with autism spectrum disorder in college: Results from a preliminary mixed methods needs analysis

Susan W. White, Rebecca Elias, Carlos E. Salinas, Nicole Capriola, Caitlin M. Conner, Susan B. Asselin, Yasuo Miyazaki, Carla A. Mazefsky, Patricia Howlin, Elizabeth E. Getzel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    81 Citations (Scopus)
    224 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Background:
    There is a growing call for empirically based programming to support the success of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as they transition to college.

    Aims:
    The purpose of this study was to identify the needs and challenges faced by adolescents and young adults with ASD in postsecondary education.

    Methods:
    A mixed methods approach was taken to explore the needs of college-bound and college-enrolled students with ASD. Primary stakeholders (i.e., parents, educators/support staff from secondary and postsecondary institutions, and students) participated in an online survey (n = 67) and focus groups (n = 15).

    Results:
    Across the stakeholder groups, commonly identified areas of difficulty included limited interpersonal competence, managing competing demands in postsecondary education, and poor emotional regulation. There was a high degree of agreement across stakeholders in the identified needs and challenges.

    Implications:
    Findings from this preliminary needs analysis will inform the development of programming to support students with ASD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-40
    Number of pages12
    JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
    Volume56
    Early online date1 Jun 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

    Keywords

    • Autism
    • College
    • Adult
    • Transition
    • Self-determination

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