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Making the transition to post-secondary education: opportunities and challenges experienced by students with ASD in the Republic of Ireland
Mc Guckin, Conor
International and national policy initiatives have begun to focus on enabling people from traditionally marginalised groups to fully participate within society. In the Republic of Ireland there has been a concerted struggle by parents and advocates to ensure that children and young people identified as experiencing Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can access and progress through all levels of the education system. Internationally there are increasing numbers of young people on the ASD spectrum attending higher education. Early transition planning is essential and students with ASD often require support to articulate their post school educational goals and actively participate in transition planning meetings. Services within higher education are primarily designed to provide academic supports; ensuring curricular access for students with disabilities and/or difficulties in learning. However, non-academic supports may be an even more crucial factor in enabling successful transitions for young people on the ASD spectrum who often experience heightened anxiety within an unfamiliar environment. Within this paper the results of a small scale exploratory study of the transition experiences of six young people on the ASD spectrum to post-secondary education will be shared. There was limited evidence that transition planning had been initiated as a formal process within the schools attended by the six students. Accessing support in higher education proved to be a complex process for some students with ASD who required sustained input from parents to ensure that they would utilize the supports available. Encouraging the development of self-determination skills, a key predictor of success in higher education, needs to begin in secondary school. It is clear that there is a strong commitment to enabling greater student diversity in higher education in the Republic of Ireland and insights from this study can contribute to the development of an embedded infrastructure to support effective transitions for students with ASD to post-secondary education.
Keyword(s): Transition to post-secondary education; Students who experience ASD; Support services in higher education; Social interaction and curriculum; Inclusive Society; EDUCATION; Autistic Spectrum disorders; Education
Publication Date:
2018
Type: Book chapter
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): Making the transition to post-secondary education: opportunities and challenges experienced by students with ASD in the Republic of Ireland, Coleman, M.R. and M. Shevlin, Postsecondary educational opportunities for students with special education needs, London, Taylor & Francis, 2018, 55 - 72, Bell, S., Devecchi, C., Mc Guckin, C., Shevlin, M.
Publisher(s): Taylor & Francis
Alternative Title(s): Postsecondary educational opportunities for students with special education needs
First Indexed: 2019-05-03 06:12:08 Last Updated: 2019-05-03 06:12:08