Brief Report: Autism Awareness: Views from a Campus Community
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This paper reports on a college community’s views of the diagnostic characteristics and causes associated with autism spectrum disorders. An anonymous on-line survey of autism knowledge was distributed via campus server university-wide to all undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff. Of the 1,057 surveys completed, 76 % of respondents had more correct answers than neutral and incorrect ones. Respondents who reported that they or someone in their immediate family had autism had significantly more correct responses than other respondents. Demographic variables of respondent sex, age, education, and role at the university independently accounted for significant, though modest, variance in autism knowledge. More accurate and widespread dissemination of information about autism may facilitate a smoother transition for college students who are on the spectrum.
KeywordsCollege Community awareness Attitudes
This work was supported by the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center and the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside, and funds from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. We are grateful to the many members of the UC Riverside community for their participation.
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