Zeedyk, S. M., Tipton, L. A., & Blacher, J. (2016). Educational supports for high functioning youth with ASD: The postsecondary pathway to college . Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities , 31 (1), 37–48. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088357614525435

Journal Article

Zeedyk, S. M., Tipton, L. A., & Blacher, J. (2016). Educational supports for high functioning youth with ASD: The postsecondary pathway to college. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 31(1), 37–48. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088357614525435


Autism; Extended time; Postsecondary; Specialized setting; U.S. context





The researchers summarized findings from empirical studies and other research about supporting students with autism spectrum disorder transitioning to postsecondary education. Academic accommodations included those provided during classroom instructional activities and those provided during course exams; this summary emphasizes the latter. Accommodations during course examinations were reported as part of the research findings, and included private testing room, ear plugs, and extended time.


This is a literature review of 12 empirical studies, published between 2004 and 2013. At least five studies address "needs and accommodations" (p. 39), including a few bearing on the exam setting. Participants in these studies were youth with autism transitiong to postsecondary education.

Dependent Variable

This is a review of empirical literature about the academic and transition needs and challenges of students with autism pursuing postsecondary education. The researchers indicated that they did not uncover studies presenting data linking accommodations and outcomes; as such, the primary relevance is as an evidence-based reporting of accommodations use for this population of students with disabilities.


The researchers summarized the research literature about the challenges and needs of youth preparing for postsecondary education, including 12 empirical studies along with other peer-reviewed research reporting expert recommendations. With their analysis of six studies reporting data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS-2), and other studies, the researchers identified underlying social and academic needs, and reviewed transition and accommodations issues. Noting the lack of quasi-experimental studies on the impact of academic supports for this population, the researchers reported, in part, about exam accommodations usage, including private testing room and ear plugs for minimizing intense sensory stimuli, as well as extended time for processing delays. Future research directions were suggested.