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Accommodating students with autism

It is the individuals on the higher end of the spectrum that professors will be most likely to encounter in their courses and thus, will be the focus of this module (White, Ollendick & Bray, 2011).Several federal laws outline the rights for students with disabilities in colleges and universities: The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), The Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Workforce Investment Act (504), and The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA).

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Some individuals with ASD are non-verbal and engage in stereotypic, repetitive behaviors while others are very high functioning, contributing members of the community (Attwood, 2007).Daniel was able to obtain a research project in a lab on campus.He approached his new advisor openly and honestly about his disability despite being worried that this might cause him to lose his position.You are not expected to lower standards to accommodate students with a disability, but rather are required to give them a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.To assist post-secondary faculty and administration in understanding the characteristics and needs of a person with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).(US Autism and Asperger Association, 2013)Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a neurological disorder that was first described by Hans Asperger, a Viennese pediatrician, in 1944.

At the same time, Austrian physician, Leo Kanner, who was living in the United States, began to describe children he saw with similar characteristics.

Although these accommodations were useful during coursework, at the graduate level of study, these accommodations would not provide equal access for a graduate student on the autism spectrum who is spending most of his time in a research lab.

Daniel was concerned about determining what accommodations would be appropriate as a graduate student and finding an advisor who understood that his pace may differ from that of other graduate students.

These numbers will most likely increase in coming years and will make the need for understanding individuals with ASD even more imperative (Despite adequate cognitive ability for academic success in college many individuals on the autism spectrum find post-secondary education an insurmountable hill to climb.

Often gaining admission without ever identifying themselves as individuals with autism / Asperger’s those students go unnoticed by their professors until their sensory, social, learning styles and organizational challenges combined with fatigue, cause them to fail.

The ADAAA is a civil rights law and was first passed in 1990 as the Americans with Disabilities Act.