Development of a College Transition and Support Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Empirically based, consumer-informed programming to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) transitioning to college is needed. Informed by theory and research, the Stepped Transition in Education Program for Students with ASD (STEPS) was developed to address this need. The first level (Step 1) supports high school students and the second level (Step 2) is for postsecondary students with ASD. Herein, we review the extant research on transition supports for emerging adults with ASD and describe the development of STEPS, including its theoretical basis and how it was informed by consumer input. The impact of STEPS on promotion of successful transition into college and positive outcomes for students during higher education is currently being evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.
KeywordsAutism College Transition Adult
- Anderson, K. A., McDonald, T. A., Edsall, D., Smith, L. E., & Taylor, J. L. (2015). Postsecondary expectations of high-school students with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 16–26. doi:10.1177/1088357615610107.
- Baumeister, R. F., Schmeichel, B. J., & Vohs, K. D. (2007). Self-regulation and the executive function: The self as controlling agent. In A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles, 2nd edn, pp. 516–539. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Corbett, B. A., Constantine, L. J., Hendren, R., Rocke, D., & Ozonoff, S. (2009). Examining executive functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and typical development. Psychiatry Research, 166, 210–222. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2008.02.005.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2002). Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
- Duke, R., Conner, C. M., Kreiser, N. L., Hudson, R. L. & White, S. W. (2013). Doing better: Identifying the needs and challenges of college students with autism spectrum disorders. Poster presented at the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Nashville, TN.Google Scholar
- Elias, R., Muskett, A., & White, S. W. (2017). Short report: Understanding the postsecondary transition needs of students with ASD: Qualitative insights from campus educators. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
- Elias, R., & White, S.W. (2017). Autism goes to college: Understanding the needs of a student population on the rise. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 0(0), 1–15. Available from http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10803-017-3075-7.
- Engström, I., Ekström, L., & Emilsson, B. (2003). Psychosocial functioning in a group of Swedish adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 7(1), 99–110.Google Scholar
- Hudson, R. L. (2013). The effect of disability disclosure on the graduation rates of college students with disabilities. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Virginia Tech, Virginia.Google Scholar
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, P.L. 108–446, 20 U.S.C. $ 1400 et seq.Google Scholar
- Jahromi, L. B., Kasari, C. L., McCracken, J. T., Lee, L. S. Y., Aman, M. G., McDougle, C. J., … Posey, D. J. (2009). Positive effects of methylphenidate on social communication and self-regulation in children with pervasive developmental disorders and hyperactivity. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 395–404. doi:10.1007/s10803-008-0636-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Newman, L., Wagner, M., Knokey, A-M., Marder, C., Nagle, K., Shaver, D., Schwarting, M. (2011). The post-high school outcomes of young adults with disabilities up to 8 years after high school. A report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) (NCSER 2011-3005). Menro Park, CA: SRI International.Google Scholar
- Nicolaidis, C., Raymaker, D., McDonald, K., Dern, S., Ashkenazy, E., Boisclair, S., … Baggs, A. (2011). Collaboration strategies in nontraditional community-based participatory research partnerships: Lessons from an academic-community partnership with autistic self-advocates. Progress in Community Health Partnerships, 5(2), 143–150. doi:10.1353/cpr.2011.0022.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Shogren, K., & Plotner, A. J. (2012). Transition planning for students with intellectual disability, autism, or other disabilities: Data from the national longitudinal transition study-2. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 50, 16–30. doi:10.1352/1934-9556-50.1.16.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Taylor, J. L., & Seltzer, M. M. (2011). Employment and post-secondary educational activities for young adults with autism spectrum disorders during the transition to adulthood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(5), 566–574. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1070-3.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Thompson, R. A. (1994). Emotion regulation: A theme in search of definition: Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development (pp. 25–42). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Education. (2017). Office of Special Education Programs, Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, selected years, 1979 through 2006; and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) database. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://tadnet.public.tadnet.org/pages/712.
- Wehmeyer, M. L., & Palmer, S. B. (2003). Adult outcomes for students with cognitive disabilities three years after high school: The impact of self-determination. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 38, 131–144.Google Scholar
- Wei, J., Yu, J. W., Shattuck, P., McCracken, M., & Blackorby, J. (2013). Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) participation among college students with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 1539–1546. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1700-z.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- White, S. W., Elias, R. E., Salinas, C. E., Capriola, N., Conner, C. M., Asselin, S. B., Miyazaki, Y., Mazefsky, C. A., Howlin, P., & Getzel, E. E. (2016a). 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., Richey, J. A., Gracanin, D., Coffman, M., Elias, R., LaConte, S., & Ollendick, T. H. (2016b). Psychosocial and computer-assisted intervention for college students with autism spectrum disorder. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 51(3), 307–317.PubMedGoogle Scholar