An On-Line Survey of University Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Australia and New Zealand: Characteristics, Support Satisfaction, and Advocacy

  • Anastasia H. AndersonEmail author
  • Mark Carter
  • Jennifer Stephenson
Original Paper


An on-line survey of 102 (51 females; undergraduate and graduate) university students with ASD across Australia and New Zealand examined student characteristics and satisfaction with academic and non-academic supports. A broad range of disciplines were studied, and the participants’ reported strengths included a passion for learning, strong technology skills, and creative thoughts. The participants’ greatest concerns were academic requirements and mental health, including high rates of self-harm and suicidal ideation. Despite support satisfaction ratings being high, support usage was low, possibly indicating a mismatch of supports and needs, lack of awareness of available supports, and/or poor advocacy skills.


Autism spectrum disorder University students Educational supports and services On-line survey Advocacy 



No grant funding was used to fund this research. We acknowledge and very much value the excellent contribution of all participating disability officers and respondents to our survey.

Author Contributions

AA developed the study aims and research questions, prepared the survey questions, liaised with participating universities, extracted and analysed the data, prepared the tables, and drafted the manuscript as part of her doctoral dissertation. MC and JS participated in the development of the study aims and research questions, the analysis of the data, and provided feedback on the survey and manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.


There was no funding granted for this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human Respondents

Ethical approval: All procedures performed in studies involving human respondents were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual respondents included in the study.

Supplementary material

10803_2019_4259_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (504 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 503 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Human SciencesMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia

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