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11-07-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 10/2017

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 10/2017

Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum at College: Successes and Stumbling Blocks

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 10/2017
Connie Anderson, Catherine Butt


There is limited information on outcomes for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including achievement at college. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 18 families reporting a degree-seeking college experience for their young adult with ASD. Interview transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Four themes surrounding success and failure at college emerged. Preparation Beyond Academics involved challenges associated with ASD, such as social, executive functioning, and mental health issues, and to what extent these had been addressed prior to leaving high school. Student/College Fit related to whether a student’s capabilities were matched to college location, size, and culture, while Campus Supports and Family Supports concerned assistance provided by colleges and families, respectively. Implications for future practice are discussed.

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