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Learn more about our research through a review of our presentations and publications. The CSESA research team has presented findings at local, national, and international conferences since This page provides all conference presentations. This page provides a brief description of the articles, and links to the journal articles. These short handouts covering important topics for youth and young adults on the autism spectrum, designed specifically for families, educators, practitioners, community members and more.

The transition to early schooling is a crucial milestone for all children, one that can be particularly challenging for young children with ASD. The quality of the student-teacher relationship STR is seen as crucial to successful academic outcomes [ 32 , 33 ] and a strong predictor of long-term behaviors [ 34 , 35 , 36 ]. For example, close, supportive relationships with teachers are associated with stronger social skills [ 37 ] and higher peer acceptance [ 38 ] in typically developing young children. However, on average, children with ASD experience poor relationships with their teachers as evidence by low closeness and high conflict [ 35 , 39 ].

Results revealed that students with ASD scored significantly lower on closeness and significantly higher on conflict than the ID or TD groups. Moreover, closeness was accounted for mainly by social skills, while conflict was accounted for by behavior problems. The projected increase in paraprofessionals can be attributed to the demand of inclusive education, which may perpetuate an overreliance on their role in the school system [ 43 ].

Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Therefore, there is an immense need to support paraprofessionals in the instruction and behavior management of students with disabilities in inclusive environments [ 41 ]. Moreover, a heavy reliance on paraprofessionals creates fewer opportunities for teachers to develop close and supportive relationships with these students. Peer relationships seem to be the most salient issue for many middle and high school students with ASD.

The lack of social skills that persists throughout adolescence has a negative impact on friendships and peer interactions [ 44 ]. In clinical populations, improvements in the social skills of children and adolescents with ASD are modest over time. Results revealed that for the sample with clinical diagnoses, parent and teacher reports on the Social Responsiveness Scale SRS; [ 46 ] were correlated at both time points. While improvements were seen on the total SRS scores over time, these only reached significance in parent reports, leading the authors to conclude that social improvements over time were subtle or perhaps not obviously manifested in the school setting.

Enduring social difficulties have been found to lead to teasing and bullying by peers, more so for youth with ASD than their typically developing peers [ 47 , 48 ].

Above and beyond disability status, higher internalizing behavior problems and peer conflict were significant predictors of victimization. In , Tipton-Fisler and colleagues did a follow-up study with the same youth at age 15 to explore how experiences of bullying and victimization changed for children with TD, ID, and ASD over time [ 47 ].

Further, higher levels of internalizing behavior problems at age 13 related to higher levels of bullying at age These findings are consistent with previous research on internalizing behaviors in youth with ASD and victimization. Cappadocia and colleagues [ 49 ] found that internalizing behavior problems predicted victimization in a sample of youth with ASD. Whitehouse and colleagues [ 50 ] found that friendship conflicts were a significant predictor of depression in adolescents with ASD. Taken together, this body of research suggests a relationship between internalizing problems e.

This work also underscores the importance of empirically supported interventions for youth with ASD who display internalizing behaviors. Such interventions could help youth make and keep friends, and provide information about how to deal with bullying. It is interesting that by middle or high school, students with ASD spend most of their time in a classroom with typically developing students, but interacting with other students with disabilities or with a paraprofessional, leaving few opportunities for socialization. Feldman and colleagues [ 52 ] demonstrated this in a study of high school youth.

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Unfortunately, difficulties for youth with ASD continue into young adulthood. This is particularly notable after public school services end, for many as late as age 22 [ 18 ]. Thus, families of youth with ASD should prepare for the transition to postsecondary environments as early as possible. Geller and Greenberg [ 54 ] suggest that by age 14, planning should begin, and focus on areas of independence, including self-determination, functional skills, and social-communication skills needed for postsecondary life, especially for those young adults who have concomitant intellectual disability.

Approximately half of students with ASD are cognitively high functioning, with IQs in the typically developing range [ 7 ]; for them, attending college is a realistic goal.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders In The Secondary School - Outside the Box Learning Resources

Predictors of college participation for young adults with ASD include student, family, and transition planning factors, such as attendance in a regular high school; strong academic performance in high school higher household income; parental expectations for attending college; post-secondary goals identified through transition planning; and student participation in transition planning [ 55 ]. Youth with ASD have at least two pathways to post-secondary education: [ 1 ] attending a 2-year school community or junior college, depending on the state , or [ 2 ] attending a 4-year college or institution.

In their review, Zeedyk, Tipton, and Blacher [ 56 ] highlighted some of the main benefits of 2- and 4-year institutions specifically for students with ASD. Two-year schools may provide more individualized supports, offer vocational programs, be more likely to be populated by familiar peers from high school, and provide weekly homework assignments similar to high school. On the other hand, 4-year schools usually offer more generic support services, a variety of programs, a more diverse curriculum, more majors to choose from, and sometimes a larger campus community.

Using the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, a nationally representative dataset on young adults across 10 years, Sanford et al. Moreover, the percentages of college attendance were statistically significantly lower for students with ASD than students with other types of disabilities.

Given the dismal college attendance and completion rates, researchers have investigated some of the challenges students with ASD face in postsecondary environments that may impede their success in college. These factors include social difficulties which are related to the characteristics of ASD e. For example, students may have difficulty adapting to changing school schedules, to the complex social environment associated with college life, and to independent living responsibilities.

Unfortunately, supports available in the college setting that focus on academic needs do not address the unique needs of young adults with ASD. Rather, they are generic and largely designed for students with learning disabilities. For example, typical academic accommodations in postsecondary settings may include extended test time, distraction free testing, flexible due dates for assignments, breaks during class, the use of technology in the classroom, note takers, and possibly optional group activities [ 56 , 59 ].

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However, the range of needs of young adults with ASD extend beyond academics critical to postsecondary success [ 60 , 61 ]. Aside from social concerns, mental health issues are commonly found in ASD populations. Other associated difficulties in ASD include a lack of daily living skills, organization and planning, and flexibility [ 63 ]. These areas may be more stressful to cope with in the college environment, as students have less structure in their routines and less support from parents after high school.

Some students with ASD also struggle with inappropriate classroom behavior in college e. For this reason, Bolourian and colleagues [ 60 ] conducted a qualitative study of 13 young adults with ASD and 18 students with ADHD in 4-year universities located in Southern California, to determine if young adults with ASD had challenges specific to their disorder. From coded in-depth interviews, nine themes emerged, highlighting the similar deficits between the two disorders. The authors also calculated passage frequencies to determine and compare how often these themes were discussed by members of each groups.

While most themes did not statistically significantly differ, the theme of Negative Peer Interactions was unique to students with ASD, indicating that university staff need to do more to expand services for college students with ASD. As you probably know, neuro-typical people are quite different to those of us with ASD.

They may seem strange and confusing. Why do they so often talk in riddles? Why do they choose to be amongst a whole group of folk at a party rather than spend the best time on the computer? Why do they have such complicated emotional interactions and relationships? In fact, why are they so illogical and complicated when life is all so simple? We fail to see the rationale for taking lots of time to socialize. It simply seems like a waste of time! For most of us, talking and sharing in conversation is an everyday fact of life that requires little thought. Taking words literally and thinking in pictures is what I do naturally.

Knowing this can be used as a tool to aid my learning. This means using words to give me the mental images that build a picture of what it is you are saying. We all like to be amongst that which is familiar, predictable and comfy.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders In The Secondary School

Imagine how uncomfortable it would be if you took words and people literally? You would so often feel let down, disappointed, lied to and so on. How could you ever depend on someone? One of the ways I have dealt with this is to structure my daily life. I need my rules, rituals and routines to help me cope with uncertainty and with the threat of change.

Change is uncomfortable for all of us but, it can be devastating for us autistics. But, what if the time-tabled program has to be canceled? Maybe the teacher is sick or maybe the bus driver failed to turn up! For whatever reason, the activity will not take place.

https://tensmactousolan.cf Now, to an ASD student this can be devastating. It is very wise to have options time tabled. Designing a student inventory for both study skills and social interaction is a must at the start of every new term. OK, as I have already hinted at, I have very uneven skills. This is another one of those enigmas. I have University degrees, I have been married and I have four grown children. However, I have huge problems with being disorganised, getting lost, using public transport, understanding others and just the practical interactions of social situations.