Parents’ Perceptions of the College Experiences of Twice-Exceptional Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Joseph Madaus, Emily J Tarconish, Shannon W. Langdon, Ashely Taconet, Nicholas Gelbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are accessing college in increasing numbers, and within this group, there is a cohort of academically talented students who can be considered twice-exceptional, or 2e-ASD. While research about college students with ASD is increasing, there is a relative dearth of literature about 2e-ASD college students, and their secondary transition and college experiences. The current study presents the results of individual interviews that were conducted with 10 parents of 2e-ASD college students to explore their perceptions of their children’s experiences, including what things went well and what were problematic areas. Parents described clear and early expectations that the student would attend college and that college provided the student with independence and the chance to be with people who shared similar interests. They described factors that were considered during the college search including the size of the campus and distance from home, and the importance of letting the student take increased responsibility, and if necessary, make and learn from mistakes. The need to focus on executive functioning and social skills was also noted. Implications for families, secondary transition personnel, and vocational rehabilitation counselors are presented.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopmental Disabilities Network Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


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