Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 651–665 | Cite as

Perspectives of University Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Anastasia H. AndersonEmail author
  • Mark Carter
  • Jennifer Stephenson
S.I. : College experiences for students with ASD


Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at heightened risk of post-secondary educational failure and account for approximately 1% of students in post-secondary education. Findings from an on-line survey of students with ASD attending university in Australian are reported in this study. Respondents indicated high rates of academic and non-academic difficulties but low usage of supports. Ratings for supports were idiosyncratic, and some students indicated discomfort from using supports or disclosing their disability. Those students who delayed their disclosure accessed fewer supports and reported a poorer overall university experience. Recommendations were made including the need for better transition support and alternative strengths based approaches that use more flexible and individualised curriculum designs.


Autistic spectrum disorder Higher education University Experiences Educational supports On-line survey 



The authors would like to thank Genevieve Godwin who conducted proof reading of this article.

Author Contributions

AA conceived the area of the study, participated in the study design, implemented the study, analysed the data and drafted the manuscript. MC and JS refined the area of study, participated in the study design, and assisted with the interpretation and analysis of the data. All authors read, edited, and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10803_2017_3257_MOESM1_ESM.docx (26 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 25 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anastasia H. Anderson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark Carter
    • 1
  • Jennifer Stephenson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Human SciencesMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia

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