Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 2593–2601 | Cite as

Systematic Review of Articles Describing Experience and Supports of Individuals with Autism Enrolled in College and University Programs

  • Nicholas W. GelbarEmail author
  • Isaac Smith
  • Brian Reichow
Original Paper


The increase in the number of higher-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is likely to lead to an increased interest in postsecondary opportunities including degree-granting college and university programs. To provide an understanding of the current evidence-base for supporting individuals with ASD in higher education, this article reports the results of a systematic review of the literature concerning college students with ASD. Overall, 20 articles describing 69 individuals met the inclusion criteria. This small number of articles and participants indicates the scarcity of research on this topic and only two of these studies were experimental in nature. These studies described a video-self modeling intervention and a counseling intervention respectively. Eighteen “case studies” were also present in the literature that described difficulties ranging from anxiety to housing concerns. This review deliniates the limitation of our understanding of effective college programming for individuals with ASD.


Autism spectrum disorder ASD Asperger College University 



This research was not funded by any grant. We would like to acknowledge Mary Beth Bruder, Director of the AJ Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Connecticut Health Center, for her support and guidance as we pursue this line of research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas W. Gelbar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isaac Smith
    • 1
  • Brian Reichow
    • 1
  1. 1.AJ Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental DisabilitiesUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA

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