Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Len Jennings, Ph.D., LP; Chris Vye, Ph.D., LP; Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan, Ph.D.


This dissertation aimed to develop a better understanding of the difficulties faced by individuals with autism in higher education and the workplace. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability that has become more prevalent over the past two decades, and more individuals diagnosed with autism are beginning to enter into adulthood. Individuals diagnosed with autism typically have significant difficulties engaging with others and socially and adapting to unpredictable situations, both of which are important skill sets when attending higher education and most workplace settings. There is a considerable body of research stating high functioning individuals with autism have difficulty transitioning into adulthood, however it is unclear what the specific difficulty areas are. The present study used a brief quantitative and qualitative survey to ask four high functioning adults with autism what they found difficult at school or at work. There were not enough participants in the current study to find reliable themes; however, all individuals who participated reported having significant difficulties engaging with peers and demoralization in relation to school and work. Clinical applications, limitations, suggestions for further research, and possible guidelines and recommendations for future research methods are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.