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Higher education experiences of students with autism spectrum disorder: challenges, benefits and support needs

Valérie Van Hees (UGent) , Tinneke Moyson (UGent) and Herbert Roeyers (UGent)
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Abstract
The transition into higher education constitutes a precarious life stage for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research on how students with ASD navigate college life is needed for the development of adequate support. This study investigated the challenges and support needs of 23 students with ASD in higher education through semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed following the principles of Grounded Theory. Students faced difficulties with new situations and unexpected changes, social relationships, problems with information processing and time management and had doubts about disclosure. Facing these challenges simultaneously in the domains of education, student life and daily (independent) living, had a major impact on students' well being. Besides these challenges, students also reported benefits that contributed to success in the three domains. They pointed out to a set of recommendations for support. These findings are linked with previous research and implications for higher education institutions are extrapolated on the basis of these findings.
Keywords
Higher education, ASD, LONELINESS, ADULTHOOD, TRANSITION, MIND, PERSPECTIVE, DISABILITIES, Qualitative research, Students' challenges, Benefits, Support needs and recommendations

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Chicago
Van Hees, Valérie, Tinneke Moyson, and Herbert Roeyers. 2015. “Higher Education Experiences of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Challenges, Benefits and Support Needs.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 45 (6): 1673–1688.
APA
Van Hees, V., Moyson, T., & Roeyers, H. (2015). Higher education experiences of students with autism spectrum disorder: challenges, benefits and support needs. JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS, 45(6), 1673–1688.
Vancouver
1.
Van Hees V, Moyson T, Roeyers H. Higher education experiences of students with autism spectrum disorder: challenges, benefits and support needs. JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS. 2015;45(6):1673–88.
MLA
Van Hees, Valérie, Tinneke Moyson, and Herbert Roeyers. “Higher Education Experiences of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Challenges, Benefits and Support Needs.” JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS 45.6 (2015): 1673–1688. Print.
@article{7027122,
  abstract     = {The transition into higher education constitutes a precarious life stage for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research on how students with ASD navigate college life is needed for the development of adequate support. This study investigated the challenges and support needs of 23 students with ASD in higher education through semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed following the principles of Grounded Theory. Students faced difficulties with new situations and unexpected changes, social relationships, problems with information processing and time management and had doubts about disclosure. Facing these challenges simultaneously in the domains of education, student life and daily (independent) living, had a major impact on students' well being. Besides these challenges, students also reported benefits that contributed to success in the three domains. They pointed out to a set of recommendations for support. These findings are linked with previous research and implications for higher education institutions are extrapolated on the basis of these findings.},
  author       = {Van Hees, Val{\'e}rie and Moyson, Tinneke and Roeyers, Herbert},
  issn         = {0162-3257},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS},
  keyword      = {Higher education,ASD,LONELINESS,ADULTHOOD,TRANSITION,MIND,PERSPECTIVE,DISABILITIES,Qualitative research,Students' challenges,Benefits,Support needs and recommendations},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1673--1688},
  title        = {Higher education experiences of students with autism spectrum disorder: challenges, benefits and support needs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2324-2},
  volume       = {45},
  year         = {2015},
}

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