Title

Needs Assessment in Individuals with Asperger's in a Post-secondary Environment

Presenter Information

Daniel Enselman
Cristina Bistricean

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

In 2008, the Center for Disease Control estimated that 1 in 88 children born in the United States would be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with an estimated annual increase of up to 17 percent. Currently, close to 1.5 million individuals in the United States are living with an ASD. Those with a higher functioning form of autism, such as Asperger’s, have a normal IQ range with some social skills deficits. The goal of the present study was to investigate the potential interest in an undergraduate Asperger’s support group at Central Washington University. Nine participants, classified by the University Disability Service as having an ASD, responded to a survey in which a series of open-ended, yes/no, and Likert scale questions helped identify areas of interest or concern for respondents. All but one participant indicated their main social support consisted of parents or family and, because of difficulties socializing with their peers, they reported high levels of loneliness. Multiple participants reported sensory issues such as odors and noise level induced stress. After the survey, a focus group, consisting of some of the original survey respondents further investigated topics addressed in the survey through open dialog where individuals were encouraged to give details on their experiences as well as offer advice on how things could be better for a student with ASD at Central. The findings from the survey and focus group suggest that a peer-based support group would greatly benefit the Asperger’s community at Central.

Poster Number

50

Faculty Mentor(s)

Kara Gabriel

Additional Mentoring Department

Psychology

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May 16th, 2:15 PM May 16th, 4:44 PM

Needs Assessment in Individuals with Asperger's in a Post-secondary Environment

SURC Ballroom C/D

In 2008, the Center for Disease Control estimated that 1 in 88 children born in the United States would be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with an estimated annual increase of up to 17 percent. Currently, close to 1.5 million individuals in the United States are living with an ASD. Those with a higher functioning form of autism, such as Asperger’s, have a normal IQ range with some social skills deficits. The goal of the present study was to investigate the potential interest in an undergraduate Asperger’s support group at Central Washington University. Nine participants, classified by the University Disability Service as having an ASD, responded to a survey in which a series of open-ended, yes/no, and Likert scale questions helped identify areas of interest or concern for respondents. All but one participant indicated their main social support consisted of parents or family and, because of difficulties socializing with their peers, they reported high levels of loneliness. Multiple participants reported sensory issues such as odors and noise level induced stress. After the survey, a focus group, consisting of some of the original survey respondents further investigated topics addressed in the survey through open dialog where individuals were encouraged to give details on their experiences as well as offer advice on how things could be better for a student with ASD at Central. The findings from the survey and focus group suggest that a peer-based support group would greatly benefit the Asperger’s community at Central.