Social Interactions of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder on College Campuses: Case Study Public Deposited
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The purpose of this study was to use an occupational therapy perspective to examine possible social barriers, current programming and possible considerations to improve social support resources for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on the campus of a small, midwestern, private university. Methodology: Convenience sampling included those diagnosed with ASD currently enrolled in the university. Interview questions were developed based on relevant literature, and a semi-structured voice recorded interview was completed with the participant. Data analysis included pattern coding, substantive categories and member checking. Results: The emergent themes focused on the participant's positive experiences rather than social barriers and university supports. Five themes were: 1) Desire to improve social skills; 2) Desire and personal motivation for increased belonging in college; 3) Appeal of creative, multisensory and themed social events; 4) Interest in learning opportunities; 5) Importance of family encouragement regarding social support.