Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Dorothy Francher

Second Advisor

Jane Baas


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both disorders characterized by difficulties with socialization and communication as well as repetitive behaviors (“Autism Spectrum Disorder” Handout). Difficulties in identifying feelings, hypersensitivities, and not accepting affection well are all common in people with autism spectrum disorder (Volkmar “Autism” and Horwood 39-42, 45, 47, 53-55, 57-59). The current rate of autism is 1 in 68, affecting 4 to 5 times as many males as females (“Autism Spectrum Disorder” Handout). The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) mentioned that both genes and the environment play a role in causing autism, and no study has linked autism with vaccines since 2010 (“Autism Spectrum Disorder”). Less than half of people with ASD pursue paid employment or further education after secondary education, and some people with ASD either do not go to college or drop out due to social isolation and difficulties in change and independent living (Lai “Autism” and White “College Students”). A survey was conducted for Western Michigan University (WMU) students with ASD in order to determine how well WMU assists students with ASD. In this thesis, I discuss characteristics of people with ASD as well as my personal experiences with WMU and how my ASD has affected my experiences.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Autism and its Effects on Students.pdf (416 kB)
Defense Presentation