Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Implications For Higher Education: A Literature Review


  • TC WAISMAN University of Calgary
  • MARLON SIMMONS University of Calgary



Autism and learning, higher education, person-centered support, innovative leadership, transition plans


This literature review focuses on the experiences of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) students in higher education. We pay particular attention to how ASD students transition from high school into post-secondary education and what supports are beneficial to their educational careers. Our purpose is to understand how autistic students can experience greater success in higher education. Guiding questions for our review are: 1) What factors might contribute to how autistic students learn in the context of higher education? 2) How do autistic students experience post-secondary education? The literature was selected through various sources, including Proquest, Google Scholar, ERIC, eduCAT, and CLIO. Search terms guiding the review included: autistic, autism, high-functioning, student, higher education, college, policies, and leadership. Findings of the literature review point to transition plans; person-centred supports; and innovative leadership, policies, and actions as factors that contribute to ASD students’ learning in higher education.