Autism Goes to College: Understanding the Needs of a Student Population on the Rise
- 704 Downloads
Understanding the needs of adolescents and emerging adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with respect to transition to postsecondary education is critical to development of user-informed transition programming. Parents of adolescents and emerging adults with ASD (n = 52) and ADHD (n = 47) completed an online survey. Social interaction training and independent living training were services frequently requested by parents in the ASD group. Additionally, parents of postsecondary students with ASD endorsed distinct challenges with self-advocacy, managing emotions, and managing personal/adaptive skills relative to postsecondary students with ADHD. The profile of parent-reported difficulties and needed services compared to transition to postsecondary education for students with ASD is distinguishable from that for ADHD, suggesting individualized transition planning and in-college supports.
KeywordsAutism Emerging adult Postsecondary Transition
This project was supported by National Institutes of Mental Health R34MH104337 to SWW; and the Virginia Tech Graduate Research Development Program to RE.
RE participated in the study design and coordination of the study, carried out the analyses, interpreted results, and drafted the manuscript. SWW conceived of the study, participated in its design, supervised the analyses, and reviewed and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Both authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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 was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101–336, 104 Stat. 328 (1990).Google Scholar
- Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist 55(5), 469–480.Google Scholar
- Auyeung, B., Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., & Allison, C. (2008). The Autism Spectrum Quotient: Children’s Version (AQ-Child). Journal of Developmental Disorders, 38(7), 1230–1240. doi: 10.1007/s10803-007-0504-z.
- Barkley, R. A. (1997). Behavioral inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: Constructing a unifying theory of ADHD. Psychological Bulletin, 121(1), 65–94.Google Scholar
- Barkley, R. A. (2012). Executive functions: What they are, how they work, and why they evolved. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Barkley, R. A., Murphy, K. R., & Fischer, M. (2008). ADHD in adults: What the science says. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Cadman, T., Eklund, H., Howley, D., Hayward, H., Clarke, H., Findon, J., & Glaser, K. (2012). Caregiver burden as people with autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder transition into adolescence and adulthood in the United Kingdom. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 51(9), 879–888. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2012.06.017.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Chickering, A. W., & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and Identity. (2nd Ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Duke, R., Conner, C., Kreiser, N., Hudson, R., & White, S. W. (2013). Doing better: identifying the needs and challenges of college students with autism spectrum disorders. Poster session presented at the meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Nashville, TN.Google Scholar
- Eckes, S. E., & Ochoa, T. A. (2005). Students with disabilities: Transitioning from high school to higher education. American Secondary Education, 33(3), 6–20.Google Scholar
- Foubert, J. D., Nixon, M. L., Sisson, V. S., & Barnes, A. C. (2005). A longitudinal study of Chickering and Reisser’s vectors: Exploring gender differences and implications for refining the theory. Journal of College Student Development, 46, 461–471.Google Scholar
- Gelman, A., Hill, J., & Yajima, M. (2012). Why we (usually) don’t have to worry about multiple comparisons. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 5(2), 189–211.Google Scholar
- Hall, C. L., Newell, K., Taylor, J., Sayal, K., Swift, K. D., & Hollis, C. (2013). “Mind the gap”—mapping services for young people with ADHD transitioning from child to adult mental health services. BMC psychiatry, 13(186), 1–9.Google Scholar
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 (2004).Google Scholar
- Kapp, S. K., Gantman, A., & Laugeson, E. a. (2011). Transition to Adulthood for High-Functioning Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In A Comprehensive Book on Autism Spectrum Disorders (pp. 452–477).Google Scholar
- Landis, J., & Koch, G. (1977). The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33, 159–174. doi: 10.2307/2529310.
- Lerner, M. D., Calhoun, C. D., Mikami, A. Y., & De Los Reyes, A. (2012). Understanding parent-child social informant discrepancy in youth with high functioning autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(12), 2680–2692. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1525-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Levy, S. E., Giarelli, E., Lee, L., Schieve, L. A., Kirby, R. S., Cunniff, C., & Rice, C. E (2010). Autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring developmental, psychiatric, and medical conditions among children in multiple populations of the United States. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 31(4), 267–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Levy, A., & Perry, A. (2011). Research in autism spectrum disorders outcomes in adolescents and adults with autism: A review of the literature. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5(4), 1271–1282. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2011.01.023.
- McKee, T. E. (2008). Comparison of a norm-based versus criterion-based approach to measuring ADHD symptomatology in college students. Journal of Attention Disorders, 11(6), 677–688.Google Scholar
- Morrison, J. Q., Sansosti, F. J., & Hadley, W. M. (2009). Parent perceptions of the anticipated needs and expectations for support for their college-bound students with Asperger’s Syndrome. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 22(2), 78–87.Google Scholar
- Norvilitis, J. M., Ingersoll, T., Zhang, J., & Jia, S. (2008). Self-reported symptoms of ADHD among college students in China and the United States. Journal of Attention Disorders, 11(5), 558–567.Google Scholar
- Palinkas, L. A. (2014). Qualitative and mixed methods in mental health services and implementation research. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 43(6), 851–861.Google Scholar
- Perneger, T. V. (1998). What’s wrong with Bonferroni adjustments. BMJ, 316(7139), 1236–1238.Google Scholar
- Roberts, R. J. J., & Pennington, B. F. (1996). An interactive framework for examining prefrontal cognitive processes. Developmental Neuropsychology, 12(1), 105–126.Google Scholar
- Swift, K. D., Hall, C. L., Marimuttu, V., Redstone, L., Sayal, K., & Hollis, C. (2013). Transition to adult mental health services for young people with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A qualitative analysis of their experiences. BMC psychiatry, 13(74), 1–12.Google Scholar
- Wehmeyer, M. L., Shogren, K. A., Zager, D., Smith, T. E. C., & Simpson, R. (2010). ResearchBased principles and practices for educating students with autism: Self-determination and social interactions. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 45(4), 475–486.Google Scholar
- Wenzel, C., & Brown, J. T. (2014). Beyond academic intelligence: Increasing college success for students on the autism spectrum. In F. R. Volkmar, S. J. Rogers, R. Paul, K. A. Pelphrey (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (Vol. 2). Wiley.Google Scholar
- White, S. W., Elias, R., Salinas, C. E., Capriola, N., Conner, M., Asselin, S. B., … Getzel, E. E. (2016). Research in developmental disabilities students with autism spectrum disorder in college: Results from a preliminary mixed methods needs analysis. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 56, 29–40. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2016.05.010.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- White, S. W., Ollendick, T. H., & Bray, B. C. (2011). College students on the autism spectrum: Prevalence and associated problems. Autism, 15(6), 683–701.Google Scholar
- Yardley, L., & Bishop, F. (2007). Mixing qualitative and quantitative methods: A pragmatic approach. In D. Willing & W. Stainton-Rogers (Eds.) Handbook of qualitative research in psychology. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 352–370.Google Scholar