Understanding the role of self-determination in shaping university experiences for autistic and typically developing students in the UK

Jiedi Lei, Ailsa Russell

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Abstract

With more autistic students enrolling in higher education, little is known about how autistic students can actively and effectively shape their own university experience through self-determination. The current study explores how both autistic (n = 18) and typically developing students and recent graduates (n = 18) perceive their self-determination during their transition into, through and out of university in the UK. Students reported many shared and unique aspects of autonomy, competence and relatedness underlying self-determination. Many autistic students also discussed autism related strengths facilitating academic pursuit at university, though found coping with transitional changes more difficult than typically developing students. Using strength-based approaches to help autistic students to actively adapt to routine changes might facilitate their self-determination during transition to university.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAutism
Early online date3 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • self-determination
  • Autonomy

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