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Transition & Work

Support for students on the autism spectrum entering tertiary education

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The National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) program has produced a new resource to help young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) make successful transitions into tertiary education.

The transition to university or TAFE is full of challenges for every new student, but presents particular challenges to those with ASD. Many students with ASD end up disengaged from post-secondary education because they did not receive timely and appropriate levels of support.

This new resource aims to help meet the needs of these students. Called How to transition to tertiary education: Helpful hints for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, it includes chapters on ‘awareness of yourself and others’, ‘knowing your strengths’, ‘familiarising yourself with the campus’, ‘organising your study’, ‘finding key people who can help you’ and ‘managing stress and anxiety’.

The free resource is available in short form (21 pages), and a longer form (67 pages) which includes case studies and links to additional resources. Both forms of the document are available in Word or PDF format.

How to transition to tertiary education was launched at the ‘Future Directions: Exploring the opportunities for success in further education and employment for people on the autism spectrum’ conference held in Hobart this month. This conference featured keynote speeches by Chris Varney, Director of the I Can Network, an organisation dedicated to driving a positive rethink of the Autism Spectrum among young people and the community; and Dr Marita Falkmer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism CRC), who spoke about research into current and ideal transition planning processes for young people with ASD.

Visit the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training for further information to view and download the How to transition to tertiary education resource.

Source:ADCET website, 18 June 2023