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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2015, Article ID 391693, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/391693
Research Article

Characteristics of Two-Year College Students on the Autism Spectrum and Their Support Services Experiences

1A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University, 3020 Market Street, Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3734, USA
2SRI International, 333 Ravenswood Avenue, BS 162, Menlo Park, CA 94025-3493, USA

Received 17 August 2015; Revised 23 October 2015; Accepted 25 October 2015

Academic Editor: Hansen Wang

Copyright © 2015 Anne M. Roux et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Approximately 80% of college-going youth with autism in the US attend a 2-year college at some point. These community-based, universally accessible institutions offer both academic and vocational courses and have experience in teaching diverse learners. This study used nationally representative survey data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 to describe the characteristics and services experiences of adults with autism who attended postsecondary education after high school, focusing on those who attended a 2-year college. Over 60% of those who attended 2-year colleges had little to no trouble conversing or performing functional skills like counting change during high school, and extracurricular participation was common (93.8%). Most 2-year college attenders (85.7%) were able to navigate to places outside the home versus 43.9% of those with no postsecondary education. Over half took vocational courses at 2-year colleges, while one-quarter pursued academic study. Less than half (48.6%) of those who disclosed their disability to the school reported receiving services, accommodations, or other help. Most (87.3%) felt they received enough help, but fewer (68.0%) felt the services they received were useful. Future research should delineate specific needs of students with autism in 2-year college settings and identify what supports are needed to improve persistence and completion rates.