Advocates and Organizations

Fast Fact #9 Mentoring can be more than academic.

Typical accommodations for students with autism in higher education focus on academic issues. But students with autism might also benefit from mentors focused on social and emotional needs. Such guidance would be especially important for students just beginning their college experience.

[Event] INSAR2018 – Are Autistic Students More Stigmatized Than Other Types of Neurodiverse College Students?

We compared stigma towards college students with different disorders and examined factors that contribute to stigma towards autism in particular. Findings suggest that autism is less stigmatized on college campuses than disorders like psychopathy and schizophrenia which may be perceived as dangerous. Indeed, stigma towards the label “autism” was associated with perceived dangerousness. Stigma was consistently related to quality of prior contact with autism, suggesting that interventions which put autistic students into high quality contact with peers are powerful tools for stigma reduction.

Fast Fact #5 – Half of the youth with Autism did not experience any disruption in education or employment after high school.

Among the 36 youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)…

* 10 people remained in the same activity since high school.

* 8 people experienced upward mobility (either “becoming employed while maintaining enrollment in postsecondary education, taking a few classes to being a full time student, going from a sheltered pre-vocational setting to a supported joy or going from no activities to a supported job”) after high school.

[Event] Texas Tech Think Tank

How many students with autism are coming to college? Recent estimates say by 2020 it could be as many as 433,000. This session highlights the four main challenges when it comes to college students with autism. These include the individual, the institution they are attending, the school system itself, and misunderstandings from society.

[Event] American College Personnel Association 2017 Conference

Over 50,000 students with Autism will enroll in college each fall, a number that is growing annually. How are campuses responding? A review of sixteen major higher education journals shows scant interest in this population. But strategies must begin with research. This session will highlight a current study that looks at peer perceptions of students with Autism. The findings offer insights into developing a campus culture where students with Autism are understood and more likely to succeed.

[Event] 36th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience

Campuses are seeing an increase in the number of students with diagnoses of Autism/Asperger Syndrome. These students bring with them both remarkable talents and resilience as well as social, behavioral and communication challenges that can complicate their campus experience. First-year students with autism are especially vulnerable because of the challenges they face responding to transitions. Participants will learn about autism: its common characteristics and how those may be problematic, and how a campus can become a more inclusive place for students on the spectrum.

[Event] National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region 1 Conference

NASPA 2016 Region 1 Conference Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum: What We Know and How We Can Make a Difference NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. We serve a full range of...

[News] Autistic middle school students use personal experiences to publish novel about young woman on the spectrum

Groups are increasingly recognizing the importance of documenting and understanding the oft-overlooked experiences of females on the spectrum. The voices of autistic girls themselves, however, are also starting to come to light thanks to initiatives like that pushed...

[News] The UK’s National Associaton for Special Education Needs has a new guide all about girls on the autism spectrum

Autism is recognized and diagnosed far more often in males than females, and typical symptoms can be brushed off when they present in females, or they can be misinterpreted as being rude or shy. The UK National Association for Special Education Needs (nasen) recently...

[News] Stanford researchers are using Google Glass to help individuals with autism work on social skills

For students on the spectrum, one of the hardest parts of college can be the social and behavioral aspects. Google Glass, however, is now under testing as a behavioral therapy aid that could be used to combat these issues even before students make it to college....

[Internship] Institutional Outreach

The Institutional Outreach Intern will cultivate effective working relationships between the College Autism Network (CAN) and institutional stakeholders at colleges and universities from across the country as well as connections among campus-based ASD programs. The intern will connect with student advocates and college administrators at campus-based ASD programs to gather information on specific initiatives, research, and good practices designed to support college students with autism. The person in this position will work with CAN’s Student Advocacy and Support team to highlight these initiatives by writing blog posts, producing program summaries, and contributing to an online database of programs and services that facilitate postsecondary success for autistic students.

[Training] Supporting Students with Disabilities

This website provides the viewer with free and interactive learning modules. These modules inform the viewer of basic information of each disability listed. This information includes myths/facts, definitions, implications for learning, a video, and a scenario section. Click this link to access an interactive free educational resource that highlights many disabilities that impact students on our campuses!

[Internship] Web Design & Development

The Web Design and Development Intern plays an integral role in the development of the College Autism Network’s (CAN) online presence. Working with other members of the Media and Communication team (Graphic Design, Video Production, Social Media, and Public Relations), the Web Design and Development Intern will oversee CAN’s websites. Building upon the visual and structural foundation of the current website, the intern will post new content and ensure effective maintenance of the main CAN website ( The intern will also lead the design and development of a new website for CAN’s newest initiative, the CanDoCollege project, a guide for student self-advocates loosely modeled after “Humans of New York.”

[Internship] Social Media

The Social Media Intern manages the College Autism Network’s (CAN) social media presence. Working with other members of the Media and Communication team (Graphic Design, Video Production, Web Development and Design, and Public Relations), the Social Media Intern will leverage social media to cultivate an engaged network of stakeholders committed to improving college access, experiences, and outcomes for students with autism. The Social Media intern will manage the day-to-day activities of CAN’s Facebook and Twitter account, implement processes to facilitate efficient interaction with our digital clientele, and work with the leadership team to develop a long-term strategy for the College Autism Network’s social media efforts.

[Internship] Public Relations

The Public Relations (PR) Intern oversees the media relations functions of the College Autism Network (CAN). This PR specialist will establish relationships with local and national press outlets for the purpose of securing placement in paper, TV, and online publications. As part of the Media and Communication team (Graphic Design, Video Production, Web Development and Design, and Social Media) the PR intern will help accelerate the growing media presence of CAN.

[Internship] Video Production

The Video Production Intern will play an active role developing videos that will shape public perceptions about autism and the College Autism Network (CAN). The intern will work with a Media & Communication team (Graphic Design, Website, Social Media, and Public Relations) to produce short, videos that will be used for public advocacy, marketing, training, and content dissemination. The intern will also lead the production of videos for CAN’s signature CanDoCollege project, which will post weekly videos, pictures, and/or essays highlighting individual college students with autism. We envision the intern creating material inspired by projects like Humans of New York and I, Too, Am Harvard.

[Lit Review] The Impact of Labels and Behaviors on the Stigmatization of Adults with Asperger’s Disorder

In this study, the average participant rated their knowledge of AD “none to moderate,” and 2/3 indicated that they had to exposure to an individual with AD. Behavior among AD individuals elicited more stigmatization according to the Social Distance Scale than labeling. Additionally, no prior knowledge of behavior leads to stigmatization (not just behavior alone). Click here to read more.

[Event] FSU Autism Superhero 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run

On Saturday, April 9th, the FSU Autism Institute and the Tallahassee community will be “Running to Put the Pieces Together” in our 9th Annual Superhero 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run at the Northwood Centre! Your support of the FSU Autism Superhero 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run will help us provide valuable services such as consultation, resources and educational support free of charge to individuals with ASD, their families and professionals who work with them. So come join us on April 9th and be a SUPERHERO for Autism!

[Event] AAIDD

To address this gap in existing research, our study sought out firsthand accounts of college students with autism. Student testimonials were gathered from the website an online resource for individuals on the autism spectrum that provides articles,...

[Lit Review] Transition from School to Adulthood for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder: What we Know and what we Need to Know

Parents and teachers may observe depressed mood, anxiety, heightened levels of inappropriate behavior, and victimization by peers in adolescents who have ASD… Overall, youth with ASD reported lower rates of self-determination and satisfaction than other youth with disabilities. Click this link to read the full annotation.

[Training] NASPA 2016

Autism in Higher Education: Barriers and Bridges in a Changing Landscape

1:15-2:05 PM on Monday, March 14th in Meeting Room 130 of the Indianapolis Convention Center

Through the lens of student vignettes, the audience will discuss the autistic student experience on campus and learn why common institutional practices may need to be amended in order to better serve this population.

Support CAN – Become a Member

The College Autism Network (CAN) is a nonprofit organization run almost entirely by dedicated professionals and students who volunteer their time, resources, and expertise to support college success for students with autism.

But websites, videos, curricula, presentations, and events cost money.
So we need your help!