University students with autism: the social and academic experiences of university in the UK

Emine Gurbuz, Mary Hanley, Deborah Riby

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Abstract

The number of university students with autism is increasing, and it is crucial that these students can access adequate support. An online questionnaire was completed by 26 autistic students and 158 non-autistic students enrolled at UK universities to investigate social and academic experiences. Autistic students self-reported significant challenges and more mental health difficulties than non-autistic students. Significant challenges focused on the social components of university life, including social skills, social support opportunities, and levels of ASD awareness from others. Many strengths were also reported regarding academic skills of autistic university students. Importantly, there were more thoughts of withdrawal by the students with autism highlighting the need for support. These data can inform university student support services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617–631
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

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