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09-05-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 10/2018

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 10/2018

Autism and the University Experience: Narratives from Students with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 10/2018
Yasamine Bolourian, Sasha M. Zeedyk, Jan Blacher


Relatively limited research has been devoted to understanding the postsecondary experience from the students’ perspectives. In the current study, individual interviews were conducted with university students with autism spectrum disorder (n = 13) and students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (n = 18) to investigate likely factors impeding meaningful postsecondary experiences. Through an iterative coding process, nine themes were identified, and direct narratives exemplifying each are included. Overall, both diagnostic groups reported significant social, emotional, and academic challenges within the university setting, although there were distinctions. Findings have direct applications to higher education initiatives, such as the development of programs to increase faculty awareness and to target the efforts of university disability centers in meeting the needs of students with neurodevelopmental disorders.

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