Resources to Support the New College Student | Organization for Autism Research

Resource Spotlight

College. The word conjures up so many images and experiences. For incoming freshmen, those experiences are likely to include adjusting to independence, exciting opportunities to grow, and keeping up with a rigorous academic schedule. These resources help students with autism know what to expect and how to adapt to college life and academics:

  • OAR’s Finding Your Way: A College Guide for Self-Advocates (2018) helps students with autism become familiar with campus life and school. Written by autism experts, professors, and self-advocates, the guide covers a range of topics such as transitioning, disclosure, academic supports, routine maintenance, social life, campus safety, internships, and much more. College autism support programs are encouraged to distribute the guide and use it as a supplemental resource throughout the academic year.
  • Developed by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Navigating College (2013) was written solely by autistic adults for autistic college students. The handbook offers first-hand accounts of people’s experiences with disclosure, sensory regulation, independent living, advocacy, and much more. It is available in paperback and as a PDF.
  • Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) developed Self-Advocacy for College Students on the Autism Spectrum. This no-frills guide provides a comprehensive overview of the college selection process, legislative rights, remediation procedures, and more. It also recommends additional resources to consider.
  • The ThinkCollege website provides students with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and other disabilities and their families with hundreds of resources, including transition, applying to college, and paying for it.
For Professors, Teaching Assistants, and College Administrators

Students seeking academic supports and accommodations can share Understanding Asperger Syndrome: A Professor’s Guide (2008), a 15-minute video, with faculty and administrators. It provides a brief overview about what it means for students to have autism and how professors and administrators can implement reasonable accommodations to help students succeed in the classroom and elsewhere on campus. With support from the Schwallie Family Foundation, OAR produced this video in cooperation with the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Project (GRASP) and Pace University in New York City.

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