Educational Experiences and Needs of Higher Education Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Little research directly examines the needs of post-secondary students with ASD. The experiences and support needs of 23 students with ASD enrolled in two universities and four colleges, and 15 family members were explored in 15 semi-structured focus groups. Thematic analysis identified five themes: core ASD features, co-morbid conditions, transition, disclosure, and services and support. Most students felt educationally but not socially supported; most families felt support was poor in both areas. Transition from secondary school was often unplanned, and disclosure of diagnosis usually occurred after enrolment, often following a significant problem. Many parents provided substantial student support. Thus disclosure of ASD diagnosis and meeting the individual needs of these students are important considerations as higher education enrolments increase.

publication date

  • 2016