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Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training
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Viewpoints on how students with autism can best navigate university

This research aimed to examine viewpoints on what affects the success of Australian university students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Despite recognition of the challenges faced by students with ASD there is limited understanding of the barriers and facilitators to participation in major life areas, such as being a university student.

Material and Method: Q-methodology was used to describe the viewpoints of university students with ASD, their parents and their mentors, on success at university for students with ASD. A total of 57 participants completed the Q-sort.

Results/Findings: Three viewpoints emerged; Individualised Support, Contextual Support and Social Support.

Conclusions: This study highlighted that supports need to be individualised to the barriers and facilitators faced by Australian students with ASD. Supports also need to be contextualised to the built and social environments of universities.

This work was supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC)