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ERIC Number: EJ1167400
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1362-3613
Supporting University Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Hillier, Ashleigh; Goldstein, Jody; Murphy, Deirdra; Trietsch, Rhoda; Keeves, Jacqueline; Mendes, Eva; Queenan, Alexa
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v22 n1 p20-28 Jan 2018
Increasing numbers of students with autism spectrum disorder are entering higher education. Their success can be jeopardized by organizational, social/emotional, and academic challenges if appropriate supports are not in place. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of a support group model for university students with autism spectrum disorder in improving psychological and functional outcomes. A curriculum guided the weekly discussions and consisted of topics such as time and stress management, managing group work, and social communication. Efficacy was assessed through pre- and post self-report measures focused on self-esteem, loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Functional changes in academic and social skills were examined through qualitative analysis of focus groups. Findings from the self-report measures indicated significant reductions in feelings of loneliness and general anxiety, and a significant increase in self-esteem at the end of the program compared to the beginning. Five prominent themes were identified in the focus-group analysis and reflected how the program had positively impacted participants' skills and coping: executive functioning; goal setting; academics and resources; stress and anxiety; and social. Given the cost effectiveness of "in-house" interventions and the potential for improving academic outcomes and retention of students with autism spectrum disorder, further research examining similar program models is warranted.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A