Challenges of Transitioning To College for Students with High-Functioning Autism
Abstract: Since the 1990’s, there has been a significant increase in young people being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and attending college. Despite possessing average to above average intelligence, these individual’s continue to struggle throughout their life with deficits in the areas of socialization, communication, adapting to changes in routine, time management, ritualistic and repetitive behaviors, and organization. Thus the transition to college may pose unique challenges for students with autism. For example, they no longer automatically receive intensive specialized educational accommodations as they did in high-school. Instead students must self-advocate for receiving accommodations in college. Also post-secondary students with autism experienced difficulties with new situations, social relationships, communicating with others, time management, unexpected changes in routine, sensory overload, and coping with mental health concerns such as fatigue, loneliness, depression, and anxiety. However, limited research has been devoted to high-functioning students with autism transitioning to college and currently attending post-secondary education. Therefore this study explored the compensatory strategies, preventative factors, and areas of academic interest for high school and college students with high-functioning Autism. The findings of this study have significant implications for faculties and the Student Support services coordinators in colleges and universities.
Presider: Rebecca Callaway, Arkansas Tech University