Blog #2: Measuring Success Rates

In University life, students and faculty complete evaluations about their educational performances towards the end of the semester. For students with High Functioning Autism who receive comprehensive support for their college career are evaluated by their coaches and the directors.

There are two measures that can be used to define success in post-secondary education:

  1. Quantitative – Academic Course Grades and GPA’s
  2. Qualitative – Social and emotional adjustments

We as researchers have developed a qualtrics measurement based on four criteria that measure the following:

  • Transitioning along the pathways toward independence.
  • Executive functioning that measures time management, organization, and communication skills.
  • Social Emotional growth that promotes social interaction and modulation of emotional feelings.
  • Employment Readiness to be able to hold a position within ones career successfully and be self-sufficient.

They provide a comprehensive view of students’ growth from freshman to graduation and employment.

Students will also be asked to fill out a self-reflective scale to measure their own perceptions of where they have succeeded and still have challenges. There is a comparative analysis between what is seen by the support services at Oasis and the students’ perspectives. These measurements are taken to keep a detailed analysis from both the student and the support service.

We will examine success rates from the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health, it will enable us to do a comparative analysis on how comprehensive support at universities can expand their operations for their students to succeed.

Last month, I have had the pleasure of attending the 2018 College Inclusion Summit at the Davis Center in the University of Vermont. At the conference, I got to talk about the skills I build to be independent in a student panel, discuss the research I am conducting on Quality Education for students with ASD, and share my autism Claymation video titled, “My Name is David,” which can be found You Tube, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_O0vRTkaaY&t=39s). Being asked to do all of these tasks, I applied the skills I have learned through public speaking, team building, analytical thinking, creativity, negotiation, and leadership. The conference fits very neatly to what I want to do for my future in autism awareness. Below, I have included a picture from the conference.

Life of the Brain and Mind

Receiving another grant to continue the same research I began last summer, I feel grateful to have another opportunity to expand my research through different concepts. This time, we have conducted information through two aspects of individuals with autism spectrum disorders:

Biology of the Brain

Elasticity in the neuro-typical brain for people have who have suffered injuries, strokes, and brain damage, can be affected through training, physical therapy, and emotional counseling. The neuro-typical brain can be redirected so that other parts can take over some of the damaged areas. The autistic brain is different from the neuro-typical brain in the fact from childhood to adult hood, synapsis and neuro-connections in the brain are not removed but remain rigid and permanent. While we cannot train the autistic brain to redirect different behaviors and characteristics, we can educate and train behaviors through direct modeling, mentoring, academic coaching.

Brain map that shows the differences

Top Right: Neuro-typical Brain

Bottom Right: Autistic Brain

“Grandin has lateral ventricles that are significantly larger on the left side of her brain than on the right.”

Online Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2218611/How-differences-brains-autistic-people-explain-difficulties–shed-light-unique-talents.html

Theory of Mind

Most students with high functioning autism have the potential to be academically successful by receiving comprehensive support. Working with their coaches, they develop new skills to comprehend readings that are intensely vague, and study habits to prepare for exams. Executive Functioning skills for assignments, time management, keeping appointments, making it class on time, being able to communicate with the professors. Nevertheless, comprehending theory of mind comes naturally for neuro-typical people, and is very complex for the people with ASD. Usually it is difficult for people with autism to process that others think differently than they do, especially when people have opinions they don’t concur with. Despite the challenges, there are possible strategies for people with ASD to practice skills to be more aware of others expressing their feelings. Not all, but some of these strategies in the diagram are easy for individuals with ASD to comprehend.

 

How Theory of Mind Applies to Autism

 Online Source: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/autism/how-theory-of-mind-applies-to-autism/

Next month, I will be presenting my research at the 2018 College Inclusion Summit Conference in Burlington, Vermont. If I get footage while I am speaking, I will try to post some pictures. I am very excited for this opportunity and I cannot wait to share it.