Barnhill, G. P. (2016). Supporting students with asperger syndrome on college campuses: Current practices. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 31(1),3-15.What services and accommodations are currently being provided for college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Asperger Syndrome?Higher education institutions are experiencing an increasing number of college students with ASD or AS diagnoses This study aims to research the accommodations and services that are currently being provided for college students on the autism spectrum and determine the components of successful programs so that higher education Disability Services offices may use this information to improve and expand their support service programsStudents with AS or ASD have differing needs from students with other disabilities, particularly in the area of non-academic social and emotional supports and many higher education institutions are not equipped to support these students. Sample characteristicsDemographics19 public IHEs (Institutions of Higher Education) (63%), 11 private IHEs (37%)28 (93%) of these IHEs offered bachelor degrees and graduate programs, 2 (7%) offered associate degrees22 of the IHEs (73%) reported that their total student enrollment was greater than 10,000 students, with 7 of these IHEs reporting student enrollment greater than 25,00029 of the 30 IHEs indicated that 1% to 18% of the population of students who identified as having a disability reported that they had AS or ASD (median = 5%)Sample size: 30 colleges/universitiesVariables – operationally defined (most likely from Intro or Method) (.5 point)Accommodations and supports – 13 accommodations typically accessed by students with ASD as reported by IHEsSummer Transition Programs – summer transition programs for students with AS and ASD that range from 3-days 6-weeks Additional Supports – programs other than accommodations, support groups, counseling, social activities, and summer transition programs as described by the IHEsReported student outcomes – number of students graduated, length of time taken to complete the degree, perception of student successProcedure: A survey was developed by the author after a literature review of the current research in the area of supports for students with AS or ASD was conducted. The form consisted of 20 questions, many with multiple parts. The survey contained both forced-choice and open ended questions. Based on an internet search for colleges and universities offering specific services for ASD, 45 IHEs’ disability service office were invited to participate in this study. Overall Results: Colleges and universities indicated that support services for students with AS and ASD are urgently needed. Flexible approaches that are individualized based on the student’s unique needs appears to be the most successful program method. Collaborating with all campus departments as well as parents appears to be essential. It is also critical to assess the program each year and modify the supports and services based on the data collected. Very few of the IHEs had outcomes data. More than half of the IHEs did not have graduation outcomes data given that they had been providing specialized ASD services for less than 5 years. It was also indicated that students with AS or ASD did not enroll as a cohort and some took breaks from college, making it difficult to accurately track their progress.Conclusions and Implications: The need to collect data on student retention, graduation, and postgraduate outcomes was expressed by the majority of the IHEs. This research was only exploratory in nature due to the fact that providing supports specifically for students with ASD or AS is a recent endeavor. More research is needed to determine which supports are beneficial.Gillespie-Lynch, K., Bublitz, D., Donachie, A., Wong, V., Brooks, P. J., & D’Onofrio, J.(2017). “For a long time our voices have been hushed”: Using studentperspectives to develop supports for neurodiverse college students. Frontiers inPsychology, 8, 14. The goal of this study is to assess needs of autistic college students based on their self-report and utilize these results to develop and evaluate mentor-led group programs for students on the autism spectrum and students with other disabilities.Because many students who meet autism diagnostic criteria do not always self-identify as autistic and thus may avoid autism-centered services, students on the spectrum may benefit further from services which are designed not only for autistic students, but to support a broad range of neurodiverse students and supports which are structured following principles of Universal Design.Sample characteristicsSpring 2013 social skills group 28 participants10 women, 18 men20 participants self-identified as White, 5 as Hispanic, 1 as Black/Native American, 1 as Muslim, and 1 as Indian12 self-identified as autistic, 16 self-identified as having other disabilitiesFall 2013 self-advocacy group30 participants19 participated in Spring 2013, 11 new students11 women, 19 menTwenty-two students self-identified as White, 6 as Hispanic, 1 as Black, and 1 as Mixed-Ethnicity17 self-identified as autistic, 13 self-identified as having other disabilitiesVariables Disability status (Self-identified as autistic or having another disability)Pre-test results (Using measures defined below)Post-test results (Using measures defined below)Participation in mentorship program Procedure The participants were administered the following measurement questionnaires before and after participating in a mentorship program over the course of a semester:Needs AssessmentsStudents rated the perceived importance of receiving guidance on 39 skills derived from previous research on a 5-point scale from 1 (very unimportant) to 5 (very important) followed by an open-ended opportunity to bring up skills that were not addressed.Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social SupportParticipants rated their agreement with 12 items on a scale from 1 (very strongly disagree) to 7 (very strongly agree).The Social Responsiveness Scale-AA self report measure of autism traits developed by Constantino and Gruber, 2012 consisting of five subscales: Social Awareness, Social Cognition, Social Communication, Social Motivation, and Restricted Interests and Repetitive Behaviors.Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety InventoryThe 40-item State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger et al., 1983) consists of two 20-item scales that assess trait and state anxiety Student Self-report of Academic Self-efficacyStudents were asked to rate their ability to learn the things taught in school, to do even the hardest homework if they try, and to figure out difficult homework on a 4-point scale from 1 (not true) to 4 (very true).Overall results: The hypothesized idea that autistic students would benefit from services designed for a wider range of neurodiverse students was supported. Students on the spectrum have support needs that are compatible with those of other types of students. Interestingly, some autistic college students avoid supports that are described as for autistic people. A few autistic students reported finding the idea of programs just for autistic students discriminatory. Furthermore, several of participants who had educational diagnosis of autism did not consistently self-identify as autistic. Conclusions and Implications: The findings of this research support previous literature by demonstrating that autistic college students face challenges navigating the college environment. These challenges include social difficulties, anxiety, difficulties with self-advocacy, and a sense of stigmatization. However, this study shows that these challenges are not specific to autistic students. This study recommends that services for autistic college students reflect the principles of Universal Design and should include a diverse group of other students, including those with other disabilities.Jansen, D., Petry, K., Ceulemans, E., Noens, I., & Baeyens, D. (2016). Functioning andparticipation problems of students with ASD in higher education: which reasonable accommodations are effective? European Journal of Special Needs Education, 32(1), 71-88. doi:10.1080/08856257.2016.1254962What functioning and participation problems do college students with ASD experience in relation to environmental characteristics of their institution of higher education?How frequently do functioning and participation problems occur for students on the autism spectrum in higher education?During which teaching and evaluation methods do these problems emerge?What reasonable accommodations were perceived to be effective in dealing with the experienced functioning and participation difficulties.Based on limited previous research, teaching and evaluation methods may interact with the effectiveness of reasonable accommodations and have a direct impact on higher education students with ASD.  Other environmental characteristics may be less important for higher education students with ASD and have a more indirect link to the functioning and participation problems they experience.Sample characteristics Participants43 Students with ASD37.2% female, 62.8% male60.5% Humanities and Social Sciences majors; 34.9% Science, Engineering and Technology majors 43 Typically developing control participants without a disability (TDC)37.2% female, 62.8% male 62.8% Humanities and Social Sciences majors; 30.2% Science, Engineering and Technology group 30 Student counselors83.3% female, 16.7% maleVariables – operationally defined)Independent – Disability status / role Students with ASD (enrolled in an institution of higher education in Flanders, Belgium, currently offered reasonable accommodations, diagnosed with ASD by a psychiatrist or a multidisciplinary team)Typically developing control participants without a disability (TDC) (enrolled in an institution of higher education in Flanders, Belgium, and have no known disability)Student counselors (working as a student counsellor in an institution of higher education in Flanders, Belgium and emotionally and practically supporting students with ASD as a part of their job as student counsellor)Dependent Functional and participation problems (11 functional limitations established in previous research by Jansen et al.)Teaching and evaluation methods (14 teaching and evaluation methods, which were described in the European Credit Transfer System)Effective reasonable accommodations (defined by previous research and supplemented by a panel of 6 academic and professional experts)Procedure: A questionnaire constructed by the researcher and administered online using  Qualtrics was used to answer the research questions. Participating students with ASD and the TDC group were asked if they experienced 11 functioning and participation problems. When students with ASD answered “yes” to experiencing a specific functioning/participation problem, they were asked during which of the 14 different teaching and evaluation methods described in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) this problem usually occurs. Students then indicated whether they effectively used an accommodation in higher education and then rated the effectiveness on a 5-point Likert scale (1 – very ineffective to 5 – very effective).Overall results: The results showed that students with ASD expressed experiencing problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, oversensitivity to change, and distinguishing gist from the detail as the most frequently present. It was also clear that a single accommodation is not effective in dealing with a wide range of functioning and participation problems. Results also showed a direct relationship between category of functioning/participation problem and the teaching and evaluation method used.Conclusions and Implications: A notable limitation of this study is that students with ASD rated perceived or experienced effectiveness of each reasonable accommodation, a subjective parameter of effectiveness and does not indicate whether accommodations also have an objective effect on the test scores of students with ASD. Further research focusing on measuring objective effectiveness of accommodations is suggested. The results of the study suggest that in order for accommodations to be effective they should be selected based on the particular functioning/participation challenges of each individual student and the teaching and evaluation methods of each institution of higher education.

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