Perspectives of University Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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

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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.

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Correspondence to Anastasia H. Anderson.

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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.

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

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Anderson, A.H., Carter, M. & Stephenson, J. Perspectives of University Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 651–665 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3257-3

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Keywords

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