Original Research

Members of the CAN team are actively generating new scholarship related to college students with autism. The products of this work (including conference papers, presentations, and posters) categorized as “original research” on this website.

Quick Links: Key organizations, services, and resources for students and advocates

College Autism Spectrum: independent organization of professionals whose purpose is to assist students with autism spectrum disorders, and their families.

Wrong Planet: web community designed for individuals (and parents / professionals of those) with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, PDDs, and other neurological differences.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network(ASAN): activities include public policy advocacy, the development of Autistic cultural activities, and leadership trainings for Autistic self-advocates

Fast Fact #10 College Success Means More than Just Grades

Fast Fact #10 College Success Means More than Just Grades Researchers asked students “how do you define success as a college student?” Their answers suggest students seek accomplishment both inside and outside the classroom.   Source: Accardo, A. L. (2017)....

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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.

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[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.

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Fast Fact #6 – Family Matters

Fast Fact #6 Family Matters... To Continuous Employment and Education! “There were no significant associations between group and any of the individual factors (i.e., IQ, adaptive behavior, autism severity, behavior problems, and stress reactivity). In terms of family...

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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.

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Fast Fact #4 – We all fall down

Fast Fact #4 We all fall down, but we get up again! In Taylor and DaWalt’s recent study, about half of the participants experienced some “disruption,” like being fired, or leaving a post-secondary education program. Out of those 8 participants who experienced some...

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Journal of College Student Development

  Cox, B. E., Thompson, K., Anderson, A., Mintz, A., Locks, T. Morgan, L., Edelstein, J., & Wolz, A. (2017). College experiences for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Personal identity, public disclosure, and institutional support. Journal of...

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Fast Fact #3: Beyond the Label of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Fast Fact #3 Beyond the Label of Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) describes a set of behaviors associated with specific differences in how one’s brain perceives and processes environmental input. It is a “spectrum condition” that affects...

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[Event] ASHE Presentation

ASHE Presentation Houston, TX, Nov. 2017 In Search of Actionable Insights Regarding College Students with Autism: A Systematic Literature Review This paper draws from a systematic review of articles published since 2000 to summarize what is currently known about...

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Fast Fact #1: 1 in 68 or 1 in 225?

Fast Fact #1 We’ve all heard the statistic that 1 in 68 people are diagnosed with ASD. But only 1 in 225 beginning college students in our study self-reported ASD. This material is based, in part, upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant...

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Autism Coming to College (Issue Brief)

In this issue brief: Highlights from the first article in top-tier higher education journal to ever mention autism. A new model to help students and institutions anticipate, address, and overcome challenges that might otherwise undermine the chances of...

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[Event] 2017 Association for Student Conduct Association Conference

The rise in the number of college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger Syndrome challenges our campuses to respond with services that support these unique, smart and sometimes-challenging students.  Three senior student conduct officers will share their experiences with, and insights about, a population that requires us to think differently about our work.

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[Event] 2017 NASPA Mental Health Conference: A NASPA Strategies Conference

More students come to campus each year with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s.  How can we help our campuses be more flexible environments and our colleagues be more knowledgeable advocates to better serve these students?  Too often, it is the counseling center and the disabilities services staff who are charged with “managing” these complex students.  This session will provide guidance to counseling and disabilities staff who want to empower everyone on campus to support these students

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[Event] Mental Health Matters Conference 2016

Mental Health Matters 2016 Conference Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum: What We Know and How We Can Make a Difference   Presented by: Personal website The second annual Mental Health Matters (MHM) conference continues its original mission to bring...

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[Event] UROP

Hosted by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement (CRE), the Symposium is an annual showcase for undergraduate student researchers from across campus to present their work to the university community. Presenters: Florida State University Florida...

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[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 WrongPlanet.net: an online resource for individuals on the autism spectrum that provides articles,...

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[Research] FLASHA 2015

Best Poster Award at the 2015 FLASHA conference. Findings emphasize how students make sense of the college transition process and how they communicate with each other in an online forum.

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[Research] AERA 2015

How do adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder make sense of and respond to autism-specific barriers to postsecondary success? Drawing data from in-person interviews of adults with ASD who have attended college, this study amplifies the voice of an often-overlooked population of college students and highlights opportunities to improve postsecondary experiences for students with ASD.

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[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.

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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!