Self-Advocacy Hub | Organization for Autism Research

Self-Advocacy Hub


Self-advocacy (n.) is an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs, and rights.  It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions (VanReusen et al., 1994). Self-advocacy skills can be learned, and are crucial to develop in order for you to gain independence and make important decisions about your own life.

Featured Articles

These three students had a successful experience in college. You can too!

Three students, Capri, Haley, and Jamie, allowed us to interview them about their college experiences. Read their interviews to get a glimpse of how they self-advocate, manage academics, and navigate campus life.


About Capri

Hometown: Batavia, Ohio
University/Program: Studying Media Arts and Animation at the Art Institute of Ohio-Cincinnati
Autism Symptoms: Echolalia, stimming, routine dependence


About Haley

Hometown: Boca Raton, Florida
University/Program: Law, University of Miami. J.D. expected May 2018.
B.A. in Criminology & Law and B.S. in Psychology from University of Florida in 2015
Autism Symptoms: Major challenges in college included learning to live independently, executive functioning skills, and stress management.


About Jamie

Hometown: Webster, New York
University/Program: Sophomore studying Communications at Monroe Community College
Autism Symptoms: Stimming, verbal repetition


Want to go to college but don't know where to begin?

Here are some tips and checklists to help you best prepare for college.


What was college like for them?

Dena Gassner explains how her academic trajectory was so different from her son's, and why it's so important to be true to yourself.


When your chosen supporters are not your biological family

Tucker James Collins, a bright young man with Asperger Syndrome, shares his experience transferring colleges and getting the financial support he needed to gain true independence. Tucker graduated with honors from Drexel University.

More Articles

OARacle Featured Image

College Resources

College. The word conjures up so many images and experiences. For students in their freshmen...

Read More

Finding Resources

Self-advocate Kat Albee highlights ways in which those on the spectrum can be resourceful and hold...

Read More

External Resources

A charity like OAR doesn’t succeed on its own.

We rely on people’s generosity, time, and assistance to help fund research studies, produce and distribute guides and more.

Donate to OAR