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Empowering Autistic College Students: Uniting Forces with the College Autism Network

In recent years, there has been a remarkable rise in the number of autistic college students, a positive trend toward inclusivity and equitable access to higher education. However, amidst this progress, many autistic students grapple with achieving success in college, facing a significant obstacle in navigating social interactions and relationships—a core challenge for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This difficulty is magnified in the dynamic and demanding social landscape of college life.

Self-report studies have illuminated the desire of numerous autistic college students for friendships and meaningful social relationships. Unfortunately, they often encounter challenges in building these connections. This struggle underscores the urgent need for specialized support and initiatives aimed at enhancing the college experience for autistic individuals.

At the forefront of this movement is the College Autism Network (CAN), a transformative organization that commenced its journey 17 years ago. CAN has evolved into a robust network of professionals, including scholars and practitioners, who share a dedicated commitment to improving the access, experience, and outcomes of autistic college students. This neurodiverse network of experts collaboratively works to ensure that postsecondary institutions are better equipped to serve a neurodiverse student population.

Divergent Adventures proudly stands as a member and Bronze Sponsor of the 2023 College Autism Summit hosted by CAN. Like CAN, we are resolutely committed to developing emerging adult skills through the college experience. Our student programs offer a unique and non-threatening approach to connecting with others, blending adventure and self-esteem building.

This year, we are eagerly poised to actively contribute to the Summit's theme on "Finding Balance," a critical aspect of achieving excellent work and maintaining a healthy life. Our enlightening poster session will delve into how adventure travel acts as a powerful catalyst for fostering individual social skills and inclusion, while simultaneously building a vibrant campus community and enriching the student experience. Drawing from over 10 years of experience in autism adventure travel and training, we are excited to share our expertise and research reviews.

Unable to attend the Summit but hungry for more insights? Dive deeper into our experience and research now. Discover how adventure and inclusivity are shaping the future for autistic college students and join us in this transformative journey. Your engagement matters. Visit us now for more information

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