Supporting the needs of college students with autism spectrum disorder.
OBJECTIVE: Young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are enrolling in colleges at increasing rates. This case highlights the need for college mental health clinicians to be aware of features of ASD in emerging adults. Participants: A case of a young woman with dysphoria and anxiety who also met ASD criteria during a diagnostic evaluation. Methods: The author describes diagnostic criteria for ASD, common psychiatric co-morbidities, and commonly used campus services. Results: The student in this case was diagnosed with ASD during the course of treatment for dysphoria and anxiety. Knowledge of this diagnosis led to better self-understanding and discovery of new supports. Conclusions: College mental health clinicians will increasingly encounter students with ASD whose social and communication challenges impact their success in post-secondary educational environments. Clinicians should be knowledgeable of ASD features, common mental health challenges, and how best to support students.
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